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What is Income?

To qualify for institutional – nursing home – Medicaid in New Jersey under its Medicaid Only program, one must have income below what is known as the income cap.  This number is indexed for inflation and for 2012 is $2094 per month. It is important to note that income refers to gross income.  Our clients will usually talk about their income in net “after tax” terms so be careful.    In talking with our elder law clients, we explain that we do not typically consider income from assets since, in most cases, the assets will have to be spent down to qualify so, therefore, the income generated from those assets will no longer exist.  Typically, a Medicaid applicant will have income from Social Security and one or more pensions.  As I explain, it is that income that comes to you for the rest of your life, that you can’t “give back”.  So what if youR income exceeds $2094 per month, even by $1?  I’ll talk about that in my next post.