What Happens to Your Spouse’s Income?

By Richard Shea

February 19, 2013

community spouse, income, MMNA, spouse

When it comes to Texas Medicaid eligibility for a spouse or loved one you may be surprised by some of the rules you have to deal with in order for your loved one to qualify for nursing home benefits. Some of the rules that you may be the most surprised about are the rules regarding how the Health & Human Services Commission calculates a Medicaid applicant’s income. These rules are vital to understand because they determine how much income a spouse at home will be allowed to keep.

The Health & Human Services Commission follows a rule commonly referred to as the “name on the check” rule when it comes to calculating a nursing home resident’s income for Medicaid eligibility. Simply put, this rule provides that if a particular item of income such as a pension, social security payment, or annuity is payable only to someone else then that item of income will not be counted as the nursing home resident’s income. Let’s look at some examples to see how this works in real life.

Example #1

For example, if George has entered a nursing home and he receives his own social security + pension which total $2,200 and his wife Linda receives her own social security check for $1,200 then George’s income for the purpose of Medicaid eligibility is only $2,200 and Linda’s income remains undisturbed. George would still need a Texas Miller Trust while his income exceeds the 2013 monthly limit of $2,130, but that is a separate issue. Linda would be able to keep her own income and may be eligible to divert approximately $1,600 of George’s income to her.

Example #2

If George’s gross monthly income was only $900 and Linda’s income was $2,500 what would happen then? Linda would keep her income without interruption. In addition, depending on the facts involved Linda may be eligible to divert approximately $300 of George’s income to her. In this case, George does not need a Miller Trust because his own income is below the eligibility limit.

Example #3

Let’s look at what can happen if George’s gross monthly income is $1,200 and Linda’s income is $1,300. You may be surprised to learn that with numbers like that it is very likely your Woodlands Medicaid Attorney can protect all of George’s income for Linda resulting in 100% income protection. As in Example #2, George would not need a Miller Trust because his own income is below the eligibility limit.

If you want to protect your rights and property through the nursing home Medicaid eligibility process then get started today by calling me, Attorney Richard Shea of The Shea Law Firm at (832) 592-7913.

Richard Shea

About the author

I am a Texas licensed attorney with over 15 years of experience helping families qualify for nursing home Medicaid and protect their assets from devastating nursing home bills. I have protected over $1 million for my clients, let's see what I can do for you.

I write everything on this site so if you have a question or comment feel free to send me a message through here, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

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