Does a Personal Injury Settlement Affect Medicaid?
Severe accident-related injuries tend to bring physical, emotional, and financial burdens. You could face accumulating medical bills, lost income, and untold pain and suffering. To compensate you for these losses, you might receive a personal injury settlement from the at-fault party. But, how exactly does a personal injury settlement affect Medicaid?
While financial compensation can help promote your recovery, it can also affect your eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Therefore, it is important to learn the impact of your settlement on your benefits and how you can protect yourself in such situations.
If your personal injury settlement is affecting your Medicaid benefits, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to discuss your case with a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney.
What Is Medicaid?
Medicaid is a need-based insurance program that is jointly provided by state agencies and the federal government. It is designed to provide subsidized healthcare coverage to low-income individuals. Typically, people who benefit from the program include children, pregnant women, low-income adults, and people with disabilities.
Unlike Medicare, Medicaid beneficiaries are subject to strict eligibility requirements. Your income and assets should be below the federal poverty line to receive benefits. People who receive SSI, however, are exempt from these income requirements.
What Are the Eligibility Limits for Medicaid?
To obtain Medicaid benefits, your income should be no more than $2,200 per month. You also cannot possess countable assets valued at more than $2,000 to $3,000. This requirement applies to all assets except core items. Core items are material things you can’t live without, such as a vehicle, primary residence, and certain types of life insurance.
Personal Injury Settlements and Medicaid Eligibility
A personal injury settlement is considered a countable asset. This means that receiving one can affect your eligibility for Medicaid benefits. Generally, small to medium settlement amounts have little or no effect on Medicaid. However, if the amount you receive pushes your assets over the federal poverty line, you could be disqualified from future aid.
How Can You Protect Your Medicaid Benefits?
If you expect a small to moderate settlement amount, you can decide to spend down your proceeds. How you do this will depend on your state laws. Some states require that you spend down the settlement the same month as you receive it. You will also need to purchase items that are not considered countable assets.
A more feasible solution is to work with your attorney to set up a special needs trust. When you place your money here, it becomes exempt from Medicaid eligibility requirements. Simply put, you can use your settlement amount without fear that you will trigger a Medicaid penalty.
Contact a Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney Today
Does a personal injury settlement affect Medicaid? Yes. In fact, a good number of accident victims are forced to choose between their personal injury settlement and Medicaid benefits. However, you can skip this choice if you plan ahead and consult with an expert Hudson County Personal Injury Attorney.
A skilled attorney can help you make the best of your situation. He/she can get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries while protecting your Medicaid benefits.
Are you worried about the impact of your settlement on your Medicaid eligibility? Contact attorney Carbone to learn how he can help you.