Do Social Security Benefits Affect Eligibility For Medicaid Nursing Home Coverage?
When it comes to nursing home care for older Floridians, there is good news and there is bad news.
The good news is that Medicaid will cover the costs for applicants with a demonstrated need for such care. In Florida, Nursing Home/Institutional Medicaid covers room and board. It also covers “all necessary medical and non-medical goods and services.” These typically include but are not limited to skilled nursing care, doctor’s visits, prescription medication, and medication management.
The bad news is that this program will only do so for applicants who are also financially eligible. To qualify, an applicant must have limited income and assets as determined by the state.
The 2023 asset and income requirements are as follows. If you are a single applicant, your assets are capped at $2,000 – meaning you can only have $2,000 or less in countable assets. Your income limit is $2,742 per month. If you are married and you and your spouse are both applying, the combined asset limit for nursing home coverage through Florida Medicaid is $3,000. The combined income limit is $5,484 / month. Lastly, if you are married but only one of you is applying for nursing home coverage through Florida Medicaid, the asset limit is $2,000 for the spouse who is applying and $148,620 for the spouse who is not applying. Income is capped at $2,742 / month for the applicant. The income of the spouse who is not applying is not counted.
Of course, this begs a few questions. What are countable assets? How are countable assets and income calculated? And – most importantly for the purposes of this article – do social security benefits affect eligibility for Medicaid nursing home coverage?
Defining countable assets and income
In this context, the following are classified as countable assets:
- Checking and savings accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Investments (such as stocks and bonds)
- Certificates of Deposits (CDs)
- Any other assets that can be easily converted to cash.
It is important to note that the state won’t always count your home as an asset. Funeral trusts and certain annuities are also exempt from classification as countable assets.
On the other hand, the state will include the bulk of the applicant’s income towards the income cap. This usually includes any payments from your IRA or pension, property, and alimony, along with any wages, salary, stock dividends and so on. Florida Medicaid also classifies Social Security benefits as income for the purposes of determining eligibility for nursing home coverage.
Different types of Social Security benefits classified as income
Another thing to keep in mind is that there are different types of Social Security benefits.
Retirement Social Security benefits are those you get based on the work credits amassed while you were working, the amount of income you earned, and the age at which you retire.
Survivor and dependent Social Security benefits are those that a spouse and eligible children get if the other spouse is disabled or dies. These benefits are based on your social security contributions and are issued for an amount of time specified by the federal government.
Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are those you get if you become disabled and have amassed the required number of social security earned work credits.
When it comes to calculating income for the purposes of Medicaid nursing home coverage in Florida Social Security disability benefits are included, along with other Social Security payments.
Contact Attorney John Frazier with your Medicaid planning questions today
As a dedicated Florida Medicaid planning lawyer, Attorney John Frazier helps seniors and their families tackle complex and confusing issues such as securing nursing home coverage. Specifically, he can answer questions and concerns regarding medical and financial eligibility – and share strategies for meeting financial requirements.
You can schedule a free consultation with Attorney John Frazier by calling 727-260-2581 during business hours or 813-431-3193 after 5 p.m.
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