Posted: 15 May, 2015
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 15 Oct, 2018
by David Silva (New York Legal Assistance Group)
A huge barrier to people returning to the community from nursing homes is the high cost of housing. One way New York State is trying to address that barrier is with the Special Housing Disregard that allows certain members of Managed Long Term Care or FIDA plans to keep more of their income to pay for rent or other shelter costs, rather than having to "spend down" their "excess income" or spend-downon the cost of Medicaid home care.
The special income standard for housing expenses helps pay for housing expenses to help certain nursing home or adult home residents to safely transition back to the community with MLTC. Originally it was just for former nursing home residents but in 2014 it was expanded to include people who lived in adult homes. GIS 14/MA-017
Since you are allowed to keep more of your income, you may no longer need to use a pooled trust.
September 2018 NEWS -- Those already enrolled in MLTC plans before they are admitted to a nursing home or adult home may obtain this budgeting upon discharge, if they meet the other criteria below.
"How nursing home administrators, adult home operators and MLTC plans should identify individuals who are eligible for the special income standard" and explains their duties to identify eligible individuals, and the MLTC plan must notify the local DSS that the individual may qualify:
"Nursing home administrators, nursing home discharge planning staff, adult home operators and MLTC health plans are encouraged to identify individuals who may qualify for the special income standard, if they can be safely discharged back to the community from a nursing home and enroll in, or remain enrolled in, an MLTC plan. Once an individual has been accepted into an MLTC plan, the MLTC plan must notify the individual's local district of social services that the transition has occurred and that the individual may qualify for the special income standard. The special income standard will be effective upon enrollment into the MLTC plan, or, for nursing home residents already enrolled in an MLTC plan, the month of discharge to the community.
Questions regarding the special income standard may be directed to DOH at 518-474-8887.
When you are ready to leave the nursing home or adult home, or soon after you leave, you or your MLTC plan must request that your local Medicaid program change your Medicaid budget to give you the Housing Disregard. See September 2018 NYS DOH Medicaid Update that requires MLTC plan to help you ask for it.
September 2018 DOH Medicaid Update - explains this benefit to medical providers (nursing homes, MLTC plans, home care agencies, adult home operators, and requires them to identify potential individuals who could benefit and help them apply - described here.
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