Pursuant to the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (“DRA”) community spouses will not have to use his or her income to support the nursing home spouse receiving Medicaid benefits. But what if most of the couple’s income is in the name of the institutionalized spouse, and the community spouse’s income is not enough to live on? In such cases, the community spouse is entitled to some or all of the monthly income of the institutionalized spouse.
The threshold is the minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (“MMMNA”) (*see discussion under Medicaid section of site). That amount is currently $2,610.00. If the community spouse’s own income falls below his or her MMMNA, the shortfall is made up from the nursing home spouse’s income. In some circumstances, community spouses may seek an increase in the MMMNA either by appealing to the state Medicaid agency or by obtaining a court order of spousal support.