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How Does New Jersey Medicaid Treat Assets Held in Joint Accounts?

When a savings or checking account is held by the Medicaid applicant with other parties, all funds in the account are considered the applicant’s so long as he or she has unrestricted access to the funds regardless of their source.  When parent and child, for example, are co-owners New Jersey will consider the account to be the parent’s unless the child can establish that the source of the funds in the account were his.   If it can be established that  the funds are totally inaccessible to the applicant, then they will not be counted in determining Medicaid eligibility.

Where joint accounts of a parent and a child exist, we want to know who was the original owner of the account.  If the parent Medicaid applicant placed the child’s name on the account then Medicaid will consider it to be the parent’s account.  If it is vice versa, then as long as the child can prove by documentation it was his/her account it will not be counted but the parent’s name will have to be removed.

Our elder law clients will often say that the account is not theirs because the child’s Social Security number is used for the account.  That does not matter for New Jersey Medicaid purposes and is not the determining factor as to whether the asset is countable asset or not.