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Can a Healthy Spouse Keep Any of the Medicaid Spouse’s Income?

                In some cases the community spouse is entitled to continue receiving a minimum amount of the institutional spouse’s income, known as the Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA).   In 2012, New Jersey’s MMNNA figure is $1,839/month.  If the community spouse has income less than $1839 per month then he/she can keep enough of the Medicaid spouse’s income to bring him/her up to that amount.

The healthy spouse may be able to keep an additional amount, but it gets technical so this is one reason you should get the guidance of a knowledgeable New Jersey elder law attorney.  To the extent certain living expenses of the community spouse exceed $546 per month, the community spouse is allowed an excess shelter allowance.  In 2012, the MMMNA and the excess shelter allowance combined cannot exceed $2,841.  The excess shelter allowance is calculated by totaling the shelter expenses of the community spouse.  Shelter expenses are limited to rent or mortgage (including principal and interest), real estate taxes and homeowners insurance, a utility standard for the individual’s utility expenses, and in the case of a condominium or cooperative, the monthly required maintenance charge.

The community spouse continues to receive the institutionalized spouse’s Social Security and pension checks and is responsible for paying the nursing home the difference between the institutionalized spouse’s income and the MMMNA.