The snapshot date is the date of institutionalization lasting at least 30 consecutive days. Institutionalization may be in a hospital, nursing home, similar health care facility, or any combination thereof, so long as the institutionalization is continuous and unbroken. The snapshot date relates to married couples only when one of the spouses is ill; and, it is necessary to know when applying for Medicaid assistance for the ill spouse. This is because all countable resources are valued as of the snapshot date, no matter when it occurred (even if years before the current application). Currently, the Community Resource Allowance cap (for countable resources that may be kept by the well spouse) is $130,380.00, plus $2,000.00 allocated to the ill spouse, for a total countable resources of $132,380.00 (valued as of the snapshot date) which may be kept by the well spouse. All countable resources valued as of the snapshot date in excess of that number must be spent down to qualify the ill spouse for Medicaid. There are many ways to spend down that do not require actually spending the resources on the nursing home, but doing so is very complex and requires the assistance of an experienced elder law attorney.
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