If an applicant has more than $2,199.00 (for 2015) of countable income, then that applicant will not be eligible for Medicaid long-term nursing home benefits unless the applicant establishes a Qualified Income Trust during the month the applicant seeks to qualify for Medicaid. The question becomes what is income?
Under Medicaid rules income is defined broadly to mean any cash or in-kind benefit that could conceivably enable the recipient to obtain food or shelter. Income can be earned or unearned. Income amounts are calculated on a monthly basis. Earned income deemed to be countable (or available) includes wages, commissions, and bonuses, whether paid in cash or "in kind" (i.e., payment in the form of food, shelter, or other kinds of barter, in return for services rendered). Even income earned at sheltered workshops is includible for Medicaid purposes.
All other receipts are categorized as "unearned income," including gifts from any source, interest on investments, alimony, insurance proceeds, Social Security, workers' compensation, unemployment benefits, annuity, and pension income. While all income must be disclosed, only "countable income" will be considered in the eligibility determination. Not counted are medical care, food stamps, other types of need-based assistance, or income received by other members of the family that is not otherwise "deemed" available to the individual. Loans are not income.
That is the basic rule; for more information contact Cody & Linde, PLLC today.