The applicant income limit is equivalent to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR), which increases on an annual basis in January. In 2021, an applicant, regardless of marital status, can have a monthly income up to $2,382.00. When both spouses are applicants, each spouse is considered individually, with each spouse allowed income up to $2,382 per month. When only one spouse is an applicant, the income of the non-applicant spouse is not counted towards the income eligibility of his/her spouse.

Furthermore, monthly income from the applicant spouse can be transferred to the non-applicant spouse as a spousal income allowance, also called a monthly maintenance needs allowance.

There is a minimum income allowance, set at $2,177.50 / month (effective thru June 2022), which is intended to bring a non-applicant spouse’s monthly income up to this amount. There is also a maximum income allowance, which is $3,260 / month (effective thru December 2021), and is dependent on the non-applicant spouse’s shelter and utility costs.

This monthly maintenance needs allowance is intended to ensure the non-applicant spouse does not become impoverished.

A Caucasian mature woman sitting next to a younger woman as they discuss income requirements for medicaid

Assets

In 2021, the asset limit is $2,000 for a single applicant. For married couples, with both spouses as applicants, the asset limit is $3,000. When only one spouse is an applicant, the assets of both the applicant and non-applicant spouse are limited, though the non-applicant spouse is allocated a larger portion of the assets to prevent spousal impoverishment. (Unlike with income, Medicaid Long Term Care considers the assets of a married couple to be jointly owned). In this case, the applicant spouse can retain up to $2,000 in assets and the non-applicant spouse can keep up to $130,380. This larger allocation of assets to the non-applicant spouse is called a community spouse resource allowance.

Some assets are not counted towards Medicaid Long Term Care’s asset limit. These generally include an applicant’s primary home, household furnishings and appliances, personal effects, and a vehicle.

Assets should not be given away or sold under fair market value within 60-months of long-term care Medicaid application. This is because Medicaid has a look back rule and violating it results in a penalty period of Medicaid ineligibility.

Home Ownership

The home is often the highest valued asset a Florida Medicaid Long Term Care applicant owns, and many people worry that Medicaid Long Term Care will take their home in order to qualify. Fortunately, for eligibility purposes, Medicaid Long Term Care considers the home exempt (non-countable) in the following circumstances.

– The applicant lives in the home or has “intent” to return to the home and his / her home equity interest is no greater than $603,000 in 2021. Home equity interest is the current value of the home minus any outstanding mortgage.

– A non-applicant spouse lives in the home.

– The applicant has a dependent relative living in the home.

Applying for Medicaid in Florida

Medicaid planning should be a big component of any long-term elder care strategy, especially given that a person has to meet strict income and asset requirements to be eligible.

Individuals are eligible to apply for Medicaid Long Term Care in Florida easily who are already at or below the income and asset levels. If you don’t meet the requirements for income and assets, an experienced attorney can help advise on ways to fit the requirements.

The Finity Law Firm may be able to help protect assets and apply for Medicaid Long Term Care regardless of where you are in the State of Florida.

Contact us today

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