Hello everyone it’s Wade Scott, Delaware Elder Law Center.

In an earlier segment I introduced the concept of what long-term care Medicaid is, what it covers, and introduced the concept that the primary mandatory requirement is that a person is disabled.  If that is established, then the secondary requirement is that the applicant needs to qualify financially.  So, there are restrictions on how much monthly income a person can have and how many assets they can have and still qualify for Medicaid.  So, let’s focus on the monthly income requirement. 

In Delaware, the applicant can only have gross income totaling 1927 dollars.  If their income is more than that they cannot technically qualify for Medicaid.  But there’s ways to meet the requirement that I’ll talk about in a minute. That income requirement applies there to an applicant whether they are married or single.  So, for assets, the way to understand the financial requirement is, you start with what is the marital status of the person applying?  If they are unmarried individuals they can only have $2,000 or less in assets.  It’s important to understand that, for individuals, often the home is not part of that calculation.  In other words, the home is protected in most instances for qualification purposes.  Then, if a person is married and applying for Medicaid it’s a different set of rules that apply. 

Under the rules, Medicaid looks at a married couple as an economic unit of one.  What that means is, Medicaid doesn’t care how the assets are titled; the Medicaid doesn’t care who owns the assets, they’re all under consideration.  So, a married couples’ joint assets, financial assets, cannot exceed a hundred and twenty- eight thousand four hundred and twenty dollars ($128,420.00).  Any assets above that are considered excess and need to be dealt with.  I’m going to talk about how to deal with excess assets whether you’re an individual or a married applicant in another segment. As a married couple there’s a group of assets that are protected, meaning this group of assets does not go into the calculation of whether they’re considered excess or not and those assets consist of a home, the community spouses retirement asset.

The community spouse is the one that is not applying for Medicaid, so retirement asset would be like an IRA or 401k and then the couple gets to keep one car.  So, for married couple up to 128 thousand dollars, 420 in financial assets are protected.  They get to keep that the house, the community spouses retirement benefit and one car.  And so those are the general rules for financial qualification purposes. 

In another segment, I’m going to talk about how can an applicant, who has too many assets, qualify for Medicaid?  Thank you