To qualify for Medicaid nursing home care in Houston, an individual can receive no more than $2,382 in gross monthly income in 2021 from Social Security, pension, and other sources. However, if your monthly income exceeds the limit, it is still possible to qualify for Medicaid by creating a Miller Trust, or Qualified Income Trust (QIT).
The Stone Law Firm can assist you with creating a Miller Trust. We draft a trust agreement to create the trust and guide you through the steps for creating and administering the trust. Nancy Stone, Attorney at Law, is an experienced Houston Medicaid attorney who has the experience and expertise to assist you with creating a Miller Trust or QIT to obtain Medicaid nursing home benefits.
The Miller Trust agreement must be signed by the Medicaid applicant and the trustee, who is usually a spouse, adult child, or other caregiver. Next the trustee opens a trust bank account and deposits the applicant’s income into the account each month. Only the income of the Medicaid beneficiary is deposited in the trust. A Miller Trust cannot be used to protect savings, investments or other assets.
Each month, the trustee must write certain checks in accordance with Medicaid rules. The beneficiary receives a $60 personal needs allowance each month. The spouse is entitled to keep as much of the beneficiary’s income that is needed to bring the spouse’s monthly gross income to $3,259.50 in 2021, under the federal spousal impoverishment protections. Certain unreimbursed medical expenses, if any, may also be paid from the beneficiary’s income each month. The remaining amount of the beneficiary’s income is usually paid to the nursing home as a co-payment or “applied income”.
If any extra funds accumulate in the trust, they are paid to Medicaid when the beneficiary dies, to repay the program for services provided to the beneficiary. Although some income is lost, the beneficiary receives more in benefits than the beneficiary’s income could otherwise purchase. The use of a QIT or Miller Trust is completely legal and has been approved by the U.S. Congress.