Elder Law Group Blog

What is the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA)?

Apr 14, 2017 | News, Planning

What is the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA)?Medicaid is a state and federally funded medical assistance program that pays for medical services, including nursing home care. To be eligible for Medicaid Long-Term Care, you must have income and assets below specified standards.
For married couples, the amount of resources (assets) the couple has will be added together to determine eligibility when one spouse files for Medicaid benefits. All non-exempt assets of both spouses will be counted. The Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) is an allowance of resources, including money and other assets that a Medicaid applicant’s spouse can keep while still allowing for their spouse to qualify for Medicaid benefits.
The Amount of the Community Spouse Resource Allowance
As a general rule, married couples cannot have more than $56,726 in non-exempt resources. This figure represents $2,000 in non-exempt resources that a single Medicaid applicant is entitled to have, plus the additional CSRA of $54,726.
The CSRA can be more in certain circumstances. If the Medicaid applicant spouse receives skilled nursing level care, the couple may be allowed to retain up to $120,900 in CSRA (for a total of $122,900 in countable assets, including $2,000 for the Medicaid applicant spouse). To qualify for this enhanced CSRA, the spouse must be able to show that the combined resources of both spouses were more than $106,032 when the Medicaid applicant spouse first became institutionalized.
Exempt Assets Do Not Count Against A Medicaid Applicant
Assets are either exempt or non-exempt. Only non-exempt assets are counted in determining Medicaid eligibility. Non-exempt assets include cash, bank account funds, and investments. Exempt assets include your house, personal and household items, one vehicle, burial plots, and burial funds of $1,500 or life insurance with a face value of $1,500 or less.
The asset protection lawyers of Elder Law Group PLLC are experienced in ensuring that you will be able to preserve your assets, while still allowing you or your spouse to receive the quality care you need and deserve. Contact us or call (509) 468-0551 (Spokane office), or (509) 579-0206 (Tri-Cities office), for personal, compassionate guidance on Long-Term Care planning, Asset Protection Estate Planning TM, or other legal needs of seniors, the disabled, or vulnerable adults and their families.

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