Change in Medicaid Laws Concerning Spousal Support

senior couple on bench next to tree

If a spouse requires long-term care in a facility, then a portion of that spouse’s income must be paid to the facility as his or her “cost share”.  The spouse who is institutionalized is allowed to keep $50.00 per month as a personal needs allowance (PNA) and an amount needed to pay for his or her supplemental health insurance.  A portion of that spouse’s income may be paid to the healthier spouse as support.

On August 6, 2021, the New Jersey Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) issued a new directive to the County Medicaid agencies concerning the minimum support that a healthier spouse can keep.  This directive is known as Medicaid Communication No. 21.05.  According to the DMAHS, the healthier spouse should have a minimum monthly income of $2,177.50.  This is based on state law and federal law.

By way of illustration, if the healthier spouse is still living at home and has a monthly income from Social Security of $1,000.00, and the institutionalized spouse has a monthly income of $3,000.00, then the healthier spouse is entitled to spousal support of $1,177.50.  The healthier spouse will then receive a total monthly income of $2,177.50 based upon the Social Security income of $1,000.00 plus spousal support of $1,177.50.