Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) February 15, 2018 - In order to be eligible for Medicaid, monthly gross income, from all sources, is required to be $2,205 or less. However, some individuals may be concerned that they will not qualify for Medicaid if they receive Social Security Disability (SSDI) benefits in the maximum monthly amount of $2,687.
Consider the case of Amanda, who worked for 35 years prior to retiring at age 56. Because of early onset Alzheimer’s, she became incompetent at age 61, and was placed in a nursing home. After she retired, she was without any income, and depleted her savings. Her guardian submitted an application for Medicaid to cover the expenses of the long-term care.
Florida social security disability attorney David W. Magann says, “Some states, including Florida, have spend-down programs that allow individuals to spend down their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.”
Because Amanda’s SSDI benefits are $2,687 per month, she will have to set up a Qualified Income Trust, also referred to as a Miller Trust, in order to receive Medicaid. Her entire disability check will be placed into the Miller Trust. Those funds can be applied toward the payment of Medicare premiums and medical bills that Medicare does not cover. Amanda will be able to have a small amount to pay the cost of incidentals, and the remainder will pay for the cost of nursing home care. In this way, she will be eligible for Medicaid, which will pay for the balance of the cost of the long-term care.
Usually, the process of obtaining SSDI benefits can take several months to a year, or longer. An applicant who succeeds in obtaining such benefits will be entitled to receive them up to one year before they submit an application. After the onset of disability, there is a period of five months during which the applicant is not entitled to receive benefits.
For example, if Amanda proves that her disability began two years before submission of her application for SSDI benefits, the maximum amount to which she would be entitled is $32,244, or ($2,687×12), although she was disabled for 24 months before she applied for benefits. If Amanda shows that she became disabled nine months before she applied for benefits, she will qualify for SSDI back payments prior to her application in the amount of $10,748, or (4×$2,687).
In either situation, the entire amount of her past due benefits will also depend on the number of months she waits to receive a favorable decision. Amanda’s past due benefits will be in excess of $2,205, the maximum monthly amount of income a person can have in order to qualify for Medicaid. Thus, her guardian can set up a special needs trust (SNT) into which Amanda can deposit all of her SSDI benefits that exceed $2,205. In so doing, she will be eligible for Medicaid.
David W. Magann, P.A.
156 W. Robertson St.
Brandon, FL 33511
Call: (813) 657-9175
4012 Gunn Highway #165
Tampa, Florida 33618
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