How Medicaid Treats Joint Bank Accounts

Medicaid’s rules for eligibility are complex and there are so many misunderstandings. Families often mistakenly believe that adding more account holders to the Medicaid applicant’s bank account will reduce their assets.

We often hear things like this, “Well, I added myself to Momma’s checking account last year, so won’t Medicaid look at only ½ of that account as hers?” Or, “Daddy and I have been using the same checking account for a long time—most of the money in there is mine. I just added him so that he could have access to more money when he needs it.”

In Georgia, the total value of all accounts with the applicant’s name on them is assumed to belong to the applicant.

It does not matter how many other names are listed on the accounts. This is because most of these jointly held accounts were funded almost entirely by the applicant’s funds, and the other joint account holders were added to help with check writing and bill paying. In the cases where a jointly held account does include funds from someone other than the applicant, clear and convincing evidence must be produced to have the state consider the funds to not be 100% owned by the applicant.

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