New Jersey permits a person to reduce his or her monthly income below the Medicaid income cap through the use of a Qualified Income Trust, also known as a QIT. There are legal requirements, however, for the establishment of a QIT.
The trust must provide that New Jersey is the primary beneficiary of the trust when the person passes away. In addition, the trust must contain only income from the individual. Federal and state law prohibits the deposit of assets into the trust.
The rules governing a QIT differ in each state. Some states allow a portion of a person’s income to be deposited into the QIT each month. According to New Jersey law, an entire income from a source must be deposited into the QIT. By way of illustration, if a person receives $1,200.00 gross per month from Social Security and a gross monthly income of $1,200.00 from a pension, then that person’s income is only $51.00 greater than the Medicaid income cap. That person, however, will not be allowed to deposit $52.00 from Social Security or the pension into the QIT per month. Rather, New Jersey law requires that $1,200.00 from either the pension or Social Security be deposited into the QIT each month.
The Trustee must adhere to the laws that govern Medicaid eligibility. New Jersey law requires that the Trustee provide an annual accounting of the distributions made from the trust. New Jersey requires that the bank statements and documents relating to the QIT be provided each year to the County Board of Social Services.
If all of the laws relating to the QIT are satisfied, then the income that is deposited into the QIT will not be considered “income” for purposes of determining Medicaid eligibility. The income that is deposited into the QIT each month will reduce that person’s income for purposes of establishing Medicaid eligibility.
If a person’s gross monthly income is more than the Medicaid income cap of $2,349.00, then he or she can still qualify for Medicaid as long as a QIT has been prepared and has been established and maintained in accordance with applicable federal and state Medicaid laws.