Florida is an “Income Cap State” with regard to eligibility for Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home care. That means that if the nursing home resident’s income exceeds the “income cap”, he or she will not be able to qualify for Medicaid benefits to pay for their nursing home care, unless a “Qualified Income Trust” is implemented. [A “qualified income trust” is often referred to as a “QIT”, a “QIT Trust”, or a “Miller Trust”.]
How much income can I make and still qualify for Medicaid?
For 2012, the income cap for Florida is $2,094 per month (effective 1/1/2012). Accordingly, if you, a family member, or loved one, are otherwise eligible for Medicaid benefits to pay for nursing home care, but have gross income greater than $2,094 per month, then you must put in place a Qualified Income Trust so that you can qualify for nursing home Medicaid benefits.
There are a number of key elements that must be included in the QIT. It must be irrevocable. After you have signed the qualified income trust document, it cannot be changed except to add new successor trustees if the serving trustee is unable or unwilling to continue as trustee, or to modify the trust to comply with applicable Medicaid law regarding nursing home care benefits.
A QIT must be signed in accordance with the Florida law applicable to trusts generally, and irrevocable trusts specifically.
There are administrative details that are required for the administration of a trust after the QIT trust document has been signed. The qualified income trust must have its own bank account, and detailed records should be maintained for the QIT trust.
All of the Medicaid beneficiary’s income in excess of the income cap amount must be deposited into the QIT’s bank account monthly, or as received. Usually, all of the nursing home resident’s income is placed in the QIT’s bank account; and then paid to the nursing home after allowing the withdrawal of the Medicaid beneficiary’s personal needs allowance ($35 per month in Florida), and any of the Medicaid beneficiary’s income that is allowed to be diverted to the community spouse because of the spouse’s financial needs.
We at The Coleman Law Firm, PLLC, offer our clients three options when a qualified income trust is needed to allow a nursing home resident to qualify for nursing home benefits from the Florida Medicaid Institutional Care Program for nursing home costs.
1. Online Preparation
When you, or a family member wnat to handle the complexity of a Qualified Income Trust without significant involvement by an attorney, we provide an option that allows you to prepare a Qualified Income Trust online, at a substantially reduced price. The online QIT is an attorney reviewed document that meets all of the requirements for a Qualified Income Trust pursuant to the Florida and Federal Medicaid laws, and is acceptable to the Florida Department of Children and Families.
It takes only a few minutes of your time to complete the online QIT questionnaire and have a completed document. We will review the document within 48 hours to determine that you have provided the appropriate information, and return to you a final QIT trust document that you then must get properly signed (we provide you detailed written instructions about how to properly sign the QIT).
You can learn more about the online preparation of a qualified income trust, or begin the preparation of your QIT trust by clicking here.
2. Attorney Prepared Document Delivered to You for Signing
A second option is that we will prepare the document for you, based on information provided by you in the form of answers to a written questionnaire. You can provide us with the completed questionaire by either regular mail (9250 Baymeadows Road, Suite 450, Jacksonville, FL 32256), fax (904-448-5244), or email (Info@TheColemanLawFirm.net).
We will return the completed QIT trust document to you by either email or regular mail, at your election. You must arrange to have the document signed, witnessed and notarized. You can obtain a copy of the questionnaire by clicking here.
We also provide you via email with a detailed explanation of the steps necessary for properly signing the qualified income trust document, properly administering the QIT trust, and include a letter to your bank explaining the operation of the bank account for the QIT trust.
We will return by mail, email, or overnight delivery, the completed QIT, ready for signing, to you within 48 hours of our receipt of your questionnaire.
3. Consultation Session With an Experienced Elder Law Attorney to Evaluate, Design, Execute and Implement Your Qualified Income Trust
We also provide the a “full service” qualified income trust that includes an initial consultation with an experienced Florida elder law attorney, the design and preparation of the qualified income trust by the Florida elder law attorney, and the signing of the qualified income trust in the elder law attorney’s office, with witnesses and a notary public provided by the elder law attorney.
Representation is subject to a “conflicts check” to see that we do not have any conflicts of interest, and a written representation agreement signed by the client (the online preparation representation agreement is included in the online materials).
If we can assist you with the implementation of a qualified income trust, please call us a (904) 448-1969, or email us at Info@TheColemanLawFirm.net.
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