Treatment of Income


The basic Medi-Cal rule for nursing home residents is that they must pay all of their income, minus certain deductions, to the nursing home. The deductions include a $35-a-month personal needs allowance (this amount may be somewhat higher in particular states), a deduction for any uncovered medical costs (including medical insurance premiums), and, in the case of a married applicant, an allowance for the spouse who continues to live at home if he or she needs income support. A deduction may also be allowed for a dependent child living at home.

For Medi-Cal applicants who are married, the income of the community spouse is not counted in determining the Medicaid applicant’s eligibility. Only income in the applicant’s name is counted in determining his or her eligibility. Thus, even if the community spouse is still working and earning $5,000 a month, she will not have to contribute to the cost of caring for her spouse in a nursing home if he is covered by Medi-Cal.

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