If you are on Medicaid, you will probably have to spend your monthly pension, Social Security, or other income to pay for your nursing home. If you do not have enough money to pay the whole bill, DSS will pay the rest.
But you are allowed to keep some money each month:
- $60 for personal needs.
- Support for your spouse or other dependent living at home.
- Health costs that Medicaid does not cover.
- $90 each month for a single war veteran or the spouse of a deceased war veteran.
- Some expenses for your home if you will go back within 6 months, including rent or the mortgage.
Does my spouse have to pay for my nursing home care?
No. If you are in a nursing home, DSS only looks at your income to decide if you qualify for Medicaid, and how much you will have to pay each month. Your spouse’s income will not be counted.
If your spouse has high income, DSS may ask your spouse to help with your nursing home bills. If DSS asks your spouse to help, your spouse should talk to a lawyer before agreeing to pay.
If I go into a nursing home, can my spouse keep our savings or assets?
Yes. Your spouse, called the community spouse, can keep half of your joint assets up to a maximum of $126,420.
Your spouse can also keep
- a car,
- burial arrangements, and
- the home (it does not matter how much equity you have in the house).
Important! This amount changes every January. Ask DSS for the most current amount. Also ask DSS to do a spousal assessment.
Can I ever keep more than the maximum amount of assets?
Yes, in some cases. You and your spouse may be able to keep extra assets if
- your monthly income is not enough to give your spouse the minimum the law requires, or
- you have a Connecticut Partnership-approved insurance policy with paid benefits. Tell Medicaid about your policy when you apply.
How much income is my spouse allowed each month?
The law says the community spouse may have at least $2,057.50 in total income each month. This amount includes
- the community spouse’s own income, and
- income from the spouse in the nursing home.
If there are financial difficulties, or if monthly housing costs are more than $617.25, your spouse may be allowed a higher amount.
Your spouse probably will not be allowed more than $3,160.50 a month.
Remember: These amounts change every year.
If your spouse’s income is less than the minimum, your spouse can get a community spouse allowance from you to fill the gap.
This allowance comes from your
- monthly income, and
- income from assets (like interest) only if needed.
If you think your spouse will need more income or assets than DSS allows, you or your spouse can ask for a fair hearing to challenge their decision. It may be good to bring a lawyer to the hearing.
Deadline: You must file a request for a fair hearing within 60 days of getting the notice from DSS that explains how much you are allowed.