A Qualified Income Trust (QIT) gives you eligibility and legal access to Medicaid and nursing home care when your income exceeds the permitted income cap or limit. A portion of your income is deposited into an income trust checking account for the period you need Medicaid. Income deposited to this account will go towards paying for your nursing home or assisted living facility each month.
Sometimes affording Medicaid care services and nursing care can be difficult for the elderly. One of the reasons is the income cap restrictions placed on Medicaid applicants in Florida.
How to Create a Qualified Income Trust (QIT)
Creating a qualified income trust will require a number of steps. In Florida, you are required to procure the services of an attorney to establish the trust. Some of these steps include the following:
- Determine that your gross monthly income or social security exceeds the income cap.
- You should hire an Elder Law Attorney. They have a focus on Medicaid planning and offer income trust set-up and funding advice.
- Drafting of a qualified income trust agreement. This agreement must meet specific standards and must be approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families Regional Legal Counsel.
- Open a qualified income trust bank account in the name of the Trust.
- Determine a Trustee for the Trust. This Trustee has the duty of signing checks for the Trust and funding the trust each month.
- Make sure the QIT account is funded properly each month.
Who Is Required to Have a QIT?
Elderly people whose income-before-taxes or health insurance deductions exceed the gross limits to qualify for specific care programs will require a QIT.
Some of these programs include Institutional Hospice, Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), Institutional Care Program (ICP), or Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE).
What Are The Requirements For A QIT?
Your qualified income trust agreement must meet specific requirements before it can be approved. The approval is done by the regional legal office of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Requirements that must be met for a QIT include the following:
- The trust is irrevocable.
- In the case of the Medicaid’s recipient death, the state will be given whatever funds remain in the trust after paying the final nursing home bill. This amount can be as much as the sum of Medicaid benefits remitted on your behalf.
- The agreement only accepts income. It will not include assets.
- You, your spouse, or anyone legally acting on your behalf (such as an agent under a Durable Power of Attorney) must sign and date the agreement.
- The trust must receive any income that exceeds the income cap.
How Does A Qualified Income Trust Work?
After you are done setting up the new trust bank account, deposits must be made monthly. This will last for the duration that you require Medicaid. The amount by which your income exceeds your state’s income limit must be deposited into the QIT account monthly.
Past or future month’s payments or deposits cannot be made. Failure to make a monthly deposit or a lesser amount will render you ineligible for Medicaid for that month.
How to Access a Qualified Income Trust(QIT)
There is a need to secure the services of an elder law attorney to help with the process. An attorney helps secure your elder loved ones’ legal rights.
An agent under a Durable Power of Attorney or the spouse of the Medicaid recipient usually serves as a Trustee. Medicaid recipients cannot serve as their own Trustee, under DCF Rules.
The first step in getting a qualified income trust is to know whether or not you need one. Income limits exist and vary based on your state.
If your income exceeds the limit, you should contact a qualified Elder Law attorney, to make sure that the QIT is properly drafted, under Florida Law.
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