NAELA has been at the forefront of keeping the Spousal Impoverishment Protections in the Medicaid Home Care Program (HCBS) that were included in the Affordable Care Act. So far, with great effort, it’s working.
It’s important for disabled people who are under 65 and who meet the nursing facility level of care to recognize that these protections are out there. The “level of care” standard is generally thought of as needing assistance with three of six of the basic ADL’s, called activities of daily living. The disability community worries a lot about the “marriage penalty” in SSI, and this is a real and legitimate concern. But in New Jersey, if it’s homecare that’s preeminent, marrying your significant other should not necessarily prevent you from keeping your Medicaid/MLTSS benefits. Spouses are allowed to keep certain exempt assets, and all of their income from working and other sources, without affecting the Medicaid applicant’s eligibility.
Sometimes when a disabled person is used to being on one kind of Medicaid eligibility, they accept what their caseworker says about what they can and can’t do. Never take what a Medicaid worker says at face value! Speak with an elder law attorney and get that critical second opinion. You may not even realize what creative planning options are out there!
Call for advice on Medicaid applications, asset protection and appeals ………. 732-382-6070