New Jersey Medicaid Planning Attorneys
Medicaid eligibility is determined by taking into account the income and assets of the applicant. Medicaid can help pay for medical expenses, as well as long term nursing home care.
In order to qualify for community Medicaid in New Jersey, the applicant’s income must be a less the maximum amount allowable for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) per month and have countable assets of less than $2,000 for a single person and $3,000 for a married couple. The income figure is updated annually and the current information for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for New Jersey can be found at https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-11148.pdf. Income includes items such as social security, veterans’ benefits, pensions, rental payments, etc. Houses, engagement rings, and wedding bands are excluded from counted resources as well as certain other items such as life insurance, burial plots, and vehicles up to certain amounts.
For this discussion, Institutional Medicaid, in New Jersey, refers to long term care of an applicant which includes home care, assisted living and nursing home care. New Jersey is an income cap state and in order to qualify for institutional Medicaid an applicant’s income must be less than $2,199. However, for applicants with income exceeding that amount, they individual may qualify for Medicaid by diverting excess income to a Qualified Income Trust (also referred to as a QIT Trust or a Miller Trust). As with community Medicaid, all relevant income sources are taken into consideration and certain asset exclusions such as homes, engagement rings, etc. also apply.
Asset Transfers and Its Effect on Nursing Home Care
A history of the applicant’s financial status will also be reviewed as part of the Medicaid application process. Applicants are requested to provide five years of financial information. If any transfer of assets is made during the look back periods, a penalty will be assessed against the applicant. That penalty may or may not effect qualification for Medicaid.
The period of ineligibility, or “penalty period,” begins when the application for Medicaid eligibility is made. The penalty period also depends on the amount of money the applicant transfers. However, there are many exceptions regarding who may receive transfers without affecting Medicaid Eligibility. Spouses and disabled children may receive gifts from an applicant without eligibility being affected. Trusts set up for the benefit of a disabled child or disabled person under the age of 65 are also exempt from penalty.
The Law Offices of Hunziker, Jones & Sweeney can answer your questions about planning for Medicaid, and assist you along the way. Call (973) 256-0456 or fill out our contact form for a consultation.