Seniors applying for Medicaid to cover long-term care costs must meet both asset and income requirements to be eligible. If you are over the income limit, establishing a Qualified Income Trust (QIT) — also called a Miller Trust — may enable you to become eligible for Medicaid coverage.
A Qualified Income Trust is a specific type of irrevocable trust that holds excess income of a Medicaid recipient. Income in excess of the Medicaid monthly income limit (which is $2,313 in Georgia for 2019) is deposited into the trust account each month. The funds in the trust are paid directly to the nursing home or care facility each month for specific medical expenses and personal needs.
Using a Qualified Income Trust reduces monthly income to below the allowable Medicaid limit, which makes the trust beneficiary eligible to receive benefits. However, for a Qualified Income Trust to work, it must be established and managed in accordance with very specific Medicaid rules.
There are two steps necessary to set up a Qualified Income Trust. The first step is executing a legal document creating the trust. Then, after creation of the trust, a QIT bank account is set up to receive deposits and make disbursements.
Both the document and the bank account must meet specific requirements to satisfy Medicaid requirements. In addition, the trust account must be managed in a specific manner on a monthly basis to fully comply with Medicaid requirements.
If you are over the Medicaid income limits and think a Qualified Income Trust may help you become eligible, you should talk with a professional Medicaid planner. A knowledgeable planner helps you in many ways, including making sure that a Qualified Income Trust is the right decision for you. If you decide to set one up, your planner ensures that the document, bank account, and management of the account meet all the complex Medicaid requirements.
In our Cartersville elder law practice at Asset Protection & Elder Law of Georgia, Medicaid planning and nursing home planning are essential parts of our services for many clients. If you have questions about Qualified Income Trusts or other questions about Medicaid eligibility in Georgia, we can answer all your questions and help you make the right decisions.
We provide elder law and planning services to clients throughout the communities northwest of Atlanta, including in Bartow County, Cobb County, Cherokee County, Gordon County, Floyd County and Paulding County. Call us at (770) 382-0984 or contact us through our online form.