COVID Stimulus Payments and Medicaid Benefits

There are many Medicaid programs but we most commonly assist those who are on the MI Choice Waiver program for in-home care and assisted living and the Medicaid program that pays for benefits in a skilled nursing facility.

Persons who are receiving Medicaid benefits must keep their bank account balances under $2,000 at least one day each month to remain eligible for benefits. So what does the federal stimulus payment mean for a Medicaid recipient who might have a bigger balance in their account than normal?

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that evaluates ongoing eligibility for Medicaid directly addressed how the economic impact payment due to the recent pandemic is treated. Benefits for a Medicaid recipient who gets the stimulus check will not be impacted. Specifically, those who receive food assistance, cash assistance, and Medicaid benefits, along with other government benefits, will not interfere with their eligibility for benefits. This means that if their account has $2,000 plus the amount of the stimulus check, they would not be denied benefits for being over the asset limit.

We do recommend that the stimulus payment be spent down within 12 months of receipt so that the assets go back to no more than $2,000 per month. This is a common rule that is applied to federal tax refunds that appears to also apply to the stimulus payment.
For married persons, the person who is on Medicaid benefits, may keep the payment for up to 12 months, spend it on their needs, or may transfer it to their spouse as spousal transfers are not treated the same as divestment to other persons.

Link: https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339–525978–,00.html

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