Elderly Couple Embracing EachotherOur elder law attorneys recommend Medicaid planning at least five years before you or your spouse needs nursing home care. However, we realize this isn’t always possible. If your loved one needs long-term care now, there are still ways to reduce your income and spend down your assets to qualify for Medicaid.

How Much Do I Need to Give Away to Qualify for Medicaid?

If one spouse needs benefits while the other doesn’t, the Medicaid applicant cannot simply transfer all of their shared property to the healthy spouse. The maximum amount an applicant can transfer to a spouse, the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA), was $137,400 in 2022 (the precise amount changes annually).

You may need to spend down considerably to meet Medicaid eligibility limits on:

  • Assets. Any cash or property in your spouse’s name could be counted as an asset, including real estate, vehicles, collectibles, investments, or retirement accounts. The asset limit for a single Medicaid recipient in 2022 was just $16,800.
  • Income. Medicaid will count any source of an applicant’s income, including wages, rental profits, pensions, dividends, and Social Security Income. In 2022, the monthly income for an applicant was limited to $934.
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