Navigating Medicaid eligibility in New Jersey can be challenging, especially when you exceed the income limit. As experienced Medicaid attorneys, we know that there are legal strategies that can help you become or remain eligible for Medicaid despite exceeding the income limit. One of these strategies is to establish a qualified income trust.
In this article, we’ll delve into the details of qualified income trusts (QIT), their benefits, and how an experienced Medicaid attorney can help you set up a qualified income trust.
Understanding New Jersey Medicaid Eligibility
Before discussing qualified income trusts, it is important to understand the basic New Jersey Medicaid eligibility requirements. To qualify for Medicaid, you must meet specific income and asset limits. These limits vary depending on factors such as your age, household size, and disability status.
Income limits for Medicaid vary depending on what benefits you are applying for. Luckily, New Jersey has distributed a brochure that outlines the financial requirements for programs for the aged, blind, and disabled. If your income exceeds these limits, you may still be eligible for Medicaid through a QIT, which we will discuss in the next section.
What is a Qualified Income Trust?
A qualified income trust, also known as a Miller trust, is a special legal arrangement designed to help individuals become eligible for Medicaid when their income exceeds the allowed limit. When you establish a QIT, your excess income is deposited into the trust, which is used to pay for specific medical expenses and care services.
Establishing a Qualified Income Trust in New Jersey
To create a qualified income trust in New Jersey, follow these steps:
- Consult with an experienced attorney. Properly setting up a QIT can be tricky, so it is essential to work directly with an attorney who specializes in Medicaid planning and elder law to ensure everything is done correctly.
- Draft the trust agreement. Your attorney will help you draft a trust agreement that outlines the terms and conditions of your QIT, including the appointment of a trustee who will manage the trust.
- Open a qualified income trust bank account. Once the trust agreement is complete, you will need to open a separate bank account in the name of the trust. This account will be used to receive and disburse funds according to the terms of the qualified income trust.
- Deposit excess income. After the trust account is open, you will need to deposit your excess income into the account each month. This will bring your countable income below the Medicaid limit, helping you qualify for benefits.
- Complete a Medicaid application. Finally, you’ll need to complete a Medicaid application and submit the necessary documentation, including your QIT agreement, to your local Department of Social Services office.
Benefits of a Qualified Income Trust
Establishing a qualified income trust offers several benefits, including:
- Medicaid eligibility. The primary advantage of a QIT is that it allows you to qualify for Medicaid despite exceeding the income limit.
- Financial management. A QIT can help you manage your finances more effectively by ensuring that your excess income is used to pay for necessary medical expenses and care services.
- Legal protection. By working with an experienced New Jersey Medicaid attorney to create a QIT, you can be sure that you are complying with all relevant local laws and regulations, protecting yourself from potential legal issues.
If your income exceeds the Medicaid eligibility limit in New Jersey, a qualified income trust may be the solution you need to access essential medical care. This handy tool will not only preserve your Medicaid eligibility, but will assist with financial management and offer legal protection.
Don’t wait to get started on your Medicaid planning. Contact the experienced New Jersey elder law attorneys at The Chamberlain Law Firm today by calling us at (201) 273-9763 to schedule a consultation. For more Medicaid tricks and tips, be sure to visit our blog.