Nursing Home Medicaid for Married Couples – Asking for an Increase in Spousal Diversion

Here’s a great question that we received just the other day:
My mom lives in an assisted living community and my dad lives in a nursing home. If my dad goes on Medicaid, will she be allowed to keep any of his income?

Yes, Medicaid has a Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMNA) that allows the spouse of a nursing home resident to potentially keep some of the nursing home resident’s income. For 2017, the MMNA is $3,022.50. So although Medicaid requires that each nursing home resident pay a patient liability (which is usually the majority of his or her income) to the facility; when the resident’s income does not equal $3,022.50 per month, he or she is allowed to keep some of the nursing home spouse’s income to bring his/her income up to this Maximum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (or the total of the couple’s combined income, whichever is less). So, if your mom’s income is not $3,022.50, she could keep some of your dad’s income to bring her up to that amount. It is possible that Medicaid could allow her to keep more of his income and have an even greater MMNA than $3,022.50. In cases where the non-nursing home spouse is paying for long-term services and support (like assisted living costs), Medicaid may allow for more money to be diverted to the non-nursing home spouse. This would require special appeals to DFCS, and we would be happy to assist your family in this process. Call our office when you’re ready to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys at (404) 843-0121.

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