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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11782
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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Medicaid is requiring husband to apply for retirement

Resolved Question:

Medicaid uses something called the "name on the check" rule to determine the income of each spouse of a married couple. Since my husband will be the one receiving social security retirement benefits, will my medicaid be safe? They said something about this when I called them but I didn't understand about "deemer" or deemed" me.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi, thank you for your inquiry and requesting me. I recall your previous question. Let see here...

Medicaid uses something called the "name on the check" rule to determine the income of each spouse of a married couple. Yes, it is pretty much, if it comes in your name, it is yours. Combine that with the deemed income rule, it can then be attributed to a spouse somewhat.

 

Since my husband will be the one receiving social security retirement benefits, will my medicaid be safe? That will depend on if your new income level, as spouses, rises above the limit set by your jurisdiction. You Medicaid levels are set by your state, and your county office will have information on that. However, if you are over 65, you can likely get Medicare (which comes with a premium, even though majorly smaller than what you'd pay on the commercial market if it wasn't through Medicare)... although Medicaid was "free", sometimes, Medicaid, if you are eligible through their current program's income limite, will still give you medicaid but, even better, Medicaid will PAY for your Medicare premium. By doing so, the state medicaid system actually saves money, because your bulk is then covered by federal Medicare. Of course, this STILL depends on that income limit, so you need to find that out.

 

They said something about this when I called them but I didn't understand about "deemer" or deemed" me. Basically, when we are in a marriage, unless living apart and estranged, provable so without supporting each other, our money is joint. So if your marital money income changes, yes, you can become ineligible for Medicaid if it is too hight. The income limits vary from state to state, so you will want to inquire of your particular jurisdication/your county office - they may have a website that explains it also, so look for that as well.



Already Tried:
Got the letter from DSS saying that my husband must cooperate and apply to SSA, I remember our conversation on that!

 

by Monday the 30th of September. I need more time to review this. I understand. What kind of things qualify as good causes not to cooperate within the time ..Nothing, besides a flat out inability... but ironically, they will likely cut it when they can, if you don't respond or appeal, and then when your medical inability is over, you then must prove that you had such medical inability, to get the chance to again prove that you are not above the income limit... isn't enough time? As noted above, a real inability....... i.e. you are in the hospital, emergency, etc. Not that creativity can't change a mind, but it really IS a real reason, not a, "I'm trying to stall" reason. Although I completely understand the need to do so. SSR will not often be enough to pay the bill for us to buy privately, so it is truly messed up! Are you eligible for Medicare, age wise or with a disability finding?

So sorry for the stress you are going through. If you need more information, I am here, on and off through out the days ahead.


I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gotten anything less, please reply back, I am happy to address follow-up questions. Kindly rate me "excellent" when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions.

Sincerely, Stephanie

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Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 11782
Experience: 19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
Stephanie O Joy, Esq and 2 other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, Stephanie? I was hoping that since the check was going to be in my husbands name only. That this income would NOT be attributed to me as a joint income. In that favorable case, since he just turned 66, and I am 61, my medicAID would be "safe", since the income is not deemed mine, it is his alone. Am I hoping wrong? I think from what you said, I am hoping wrong. It is too bad we are not talking face to face. I can't hear the tone of your voice. It is hard to hear or see surprise or disappointment. I will reread your answer in the meantime. As for replying by the 30th, I have faxed the letter to legal aid. I was hoping that.....again.....hoping that the lawyer there would appeal or somehow step in for me. Is that possible? According to what you said, even if I had a lawyer, I am not nor is my husband with a medical cause why he would not respond. As far as whether I am disabled, that's the best question yet. I didn't convince my Social Security office that I am. I did not appeal. I haven't worked due to bipolar since the 80's when I had three children. I was unable to take my medication during childbearing age and was pretty off the wall. My husband did a lot of caring for the children in those days. Now, I take 400 dollars worth of medication monthly and without medicaid, we will be in trouble especially if they have new healthcare rules where I will have to buy insurance privately. That's a topic I can explore with you later. For now though, I am very in the "in name only" working in my favor. and the deemed clause working to say that the DEEMED income is NOT attributed to me because of the "name only rule" making an exception to the joint income. I googled and saw this statement: "Income is treated differently for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Medicaid follows the "name on the check rule"; that is, there is no mingling of income between spouses."

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you, Stephanie? I was hoping that since the check was going to be in my husbands name only. That this income would NOT be attributed to me as a joint income. In that favorable case, since he just turned 66, and I am 61, my medicAID would be "safe", since the income is not deemed mine, it is his alone. Am I hoping wrong? It is too bad we are not talking face to face. I can't hear the tone of your voice. It is hard to hear or see surprise or disappointment. I will reread your answer in the meantime. I saw this quote: "It is important to note that Medicaid uses the “name on the check” rule. That means that, in determining eligibility, the Board of Social Services looks only to the income of the applicant, not the combined income of the applicant and his or her spouse." Another way to put it is: Unlike assets, which are pooled between the couple, income belongs to the individual whose name is XXXXX XXXXX check. So, if Mr. Smith has Social Security income of $1,500 per month and a pension of $500 per month, that is his income. If Mrs. Smith has Social Security income of $1,000 per month, that is her income. There is no pooling of income.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Relist: Kindly OPT OUT. Other. What I don't know I don't know can hurt me in this case. We were sent a letter from the Department of Social Services that my husband MUST apply for social security retirement by the 30th of September and if we didn't cooperate, they would make us automatically ineligible for all benefits. My husband just turned 66 in August, and the Department of Social Services DSS, is saying that since the retirement income is "available" he must take it now. This would shoot us over eligibility for SNAP and medicaid for me IF the "Name on Check" rule didn't apply. IF on the other hand, the name on check rule did apply, then I would have my 200 dollar income, and he would have his 1150 retirement check. As the following quote says, "Unlike assets, which are pooled between the couple, income belongs to the individual whose name is XXXXX XXXXX check. So, if Mr. Smith has Social Security income of $1,500 per month and a pension of $500 per month, that is his income. If Mrs. Smith has Social Security income of $1,000 per month, that is her income. There is no pooling of income." Medicaid would deem me eligible for medical assistance because I only receive 200 a month. Am I correct? Kindly opt out. I am looking for another expert.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hi, I was in court yesterday and not able to see your post. I realize you may be unaware, but some of us are actually practicing attorneys - our time here is contributory in nature due to our areas of expertise and a desire to help those that may be unable to retain a lawyer to answer their questions. I note your re-list, and I see that no one has apparently seen fit to provide a differing answer - likely because my answer is accurate. However, if anything remains confusing to you, I am happy to try to explain it further for you. I am going to respond to your further posting now, since you are pressed for time. But of course if you wish me to opt out again, I will be happy to do so. Just let me know. OK, with regard to your most recent post:

Kindly OPT OUT. Shall do, just want to address this for you.

Other. What I don't know I don't know can hurt me in this case. Yes, which is why you really must re-read the above. Deeming means it gets "deemed" to you even if not in your name. That is the whole point of deeming.

We were sent a letter from the Department of Social Services that my husband MUST apply for social security retirement by the 30th of September and if we didn't cooperate, they would make us automatically ineligible for all benefits. Yes, that was part of your original post, and what I responded to above back on 9/24/2013.

My husband just turned 66 in August, and the Department of Social Services DSS, is saying that since the retirement income is "available" he must take it now. Yes, that is correct. Frankly, they often require it at 62, so him turning 66 is great, since he now gets the "full" amount.

This would shoot us over eligibility for SNAP and medicaid for me IF the "Name on Check" rule didn't apply. Yes, because you have income that leaves you not as "indigent" as previously.

IF on the other hand, the name on check rule did apply, then I would have my 200 dollar income, and he would have his 1150 retirement check. The name on the check rule generally applied to LONG TERM CARE Medicaid, not generally welfare assistance, unfortunately - it also varies by state - since this is not actually Social Security at all, but the state administered medicaid program.

As the following quote says, "Unlike assets, which are pooled between the couple, income belongs to the individual whose name is on the check. Yes, for LONG TERM CARE Medicaid.

So, if Mr. Smith has Social Security income of $1,500 per month and a pension of $500 per month, that is his income. YES. If Mrs. Smith has Social Security income of $1,000 per month, that is her income. There is no pooling of income." Be sure to look at WHAT KIND of Medicaid coverage you are getting or hoping to keep. By way of example, since you didn't share which state you are in, here is a colleague's discussion of NJ's usage of the name on the check rule. It doesn't apply to Medicaid health coverage at all, as that program considers all household income. See here.

However, if you believe you are reading something from a credible source on the internet and you would like me to read it as well, please link it to me.


Medicaid would deem me eligible for medical assistance because I only receive 200 a month. Am I correct? Kindly opt out. I am looking for another expert. As you can see, we are unable to locate any professional here with a differing understanding. But I will keep looking for you.
In the meantime, let me know if you want me to review, directly, what you are reading, with regard to eligibility. Unfortunately, you will also likely want to tell me your STATE, as well, since this is a state level criteria, not social security nor federal.

I look forward to hearing back from you. Today I am NOT in court, although several teleconferences. I will check back with you to see if you have had the opportunity to respond.

Thank you!

Sincerely,
Stephanie O. Joy, Esq.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I understand and appreciate that you are a valuable attorney who ..... (don't ever change- I appreciate you the way you are) ......sometimes looks at Just Answer to help people like me. You are correct in all your dealings with me and I plan to contact you again. I contacted just answer and started to have you opt out .... then before I changed it, went to see my second opinion Paul, who convinced me that what you were saying was true. Thank you, I don't need to get a differing opinion.....I believe you and Paul. I know now with your help that I must seek medical insurance from medicare for him and private insurance for me. I will contact you soon about SSI questions for me. I am sorry for the very small contributions I made to JA. Hopefully, when this thing blows over, this will be different. thanks.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
Hang in there - I know it is not easy. You are welcome to ask questions at anytime. Be well, Stephanie
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Stephanie, No Worries. Medicaid is being expanded to 138% of the poverty level which is just shy of 1800 a month for a family of 2. I might be able to squeeze by keeping my Medicaid. So, I can continue going to psychiatrist and getting my expensive drugs.. We have a family of 3 or 2 depending how you look at our 23 year old.....who has some disabilities. (I will contact you later about he and I with the saga of SSI) Good night.


P.S. I almost wrote you a soliloquy about the new health care because I went to a seminar about it and was excited. However, the JA site can be searched and is not for sharing specifics of public information. So, I will rate you excellent again. Just push a few words out to me when you get a chance.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.
You are very kind. Health care is very difficult area at this point, with people getting dropped, more going on the state's tab, which seems to mean that there is less quality care to go around for those on the state tab. In addition, medical providers that will accept medicaid are jumping ship, so actually getting Medicaid does not even mean one can get health care anymore. It is very concerning. I very much hope it will improve.

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