CAN I QUALIFY FOR NURSING HOME MEDICAID IF I OWN A VEHICLE?

CAN I QUALIFY FOR NURSING HOME MEDICAID IF I OWN A VEHICLE?

Miami Elder Care LawyerWhen a person applies for Medicaid, the inclusion of all or a portion of the value of vehicles, as well as the determination of value, differs according to the Medicaid program.  Specifically, a person applying for Nursing Home Medicaid, who may or may not have a spouse and   owns one or more vehicles, may be rejected for Medicaid by the Department of Children and Families (DCF), unless the vehicle(s) in question, are exempted under the Medicaid rules.

A vehicle is defined as “any automobile, truck, motorcycle, etc., that is used to provide transportation, and incudes vehicles that are unregistered, inoperable or in need of repair.” ESS Policy Manual, Section 1640.0583.

If the applicant owns one automobile, it can be excluded regardless of value, use, or whether the applicant has a spouse. ESS Policy Manual, Section 1640.0591. All other automobiles are treated as non-liquid assets and counted as their equity value. Equity value is defined as the average trade-in value of the vehicle less any indebtedness. DCF will exclude the vehicle with the highest equity value, if there is more than one vehicle.

Although only one automobile is excluded as a general rule, there is an exception for automobiles over seven years old. However, this exception does not apply to luxury cars, automobiles that are more than 25 years old as they may be considered classics or antiques, and customized or specially modified automobiles, except those modified for use by a handicapped person.

DCF calculates the value of an automobile using the National Automobile Dealers’ Association book or NADA BOOK. If a vehicle is not listed in Southeastern Edition, NADA Book, the Official Used Car Guide or the Older Car Guide, an appraisal will be required or other evidence of value.

If you are in need of help regarding Medicaid qualification and are unsure as to how DCF will count your assets or income, call The Elder Law Center of Mondschein and Mondschein, P.A. Miami office at (305) 274-0955 for a FREE telephone consultation.

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