A Spend Down:
What is a Spend Down?
For an individual receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or Medicaid, a “Spend Down” literally refers to spending excess money that he/she receives within a calendar month to maintain eligibility for public benefits. This is allowable because SSI determines a lump sum of money to be considered income only in the month received if it is spent within that same calendar month (SI 01110.600). In most states, that means that on the last day of the same calendar month that the funds were received the recipient can have not a penny more than the resource limit, which is generally $2,000 for an unmarried individual and $3,000 for a married couple. For example, if John Doe, an unmarried individual, is on SSI and receives $28,000 dollars on September 12th, he must spend down his total resources to $2,000 dollars before October 1st.
What Can a Recipient Spend Their Funds On?
If a beneficiary receives Medi-Cal (California Medicaid Program) benefits only he/she is obligated to report specific changes to the Medi-Cal regional office that serves his/her county of residence.
What are overpayments? According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), an overpayment is when a recipient of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits receives more money for a month than he or should have been paid by the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has different guidelines for individuals that are single or unmarried and for individuals who are married when determining benefit eligibility. Since Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a needs-based program, the Social Security Administration (SSA) reviews various factors such as income, resources, age, citizenship, and other eligibility requirements.
Gift cards/gift certificates can be a great gift for a special occasion, birthdays, appreciation, or even holidays. However, it can have a negative impact on an individual who receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Family and friends should err on the side of caution if they are considering to purchase gift cards for their loved ones who receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
What are Resources?
According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the term resources refers to money and other items that an individual may own and in turn can change into cash funds. The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides a list of sample resources that includes cash, bank accounts, stocks, U.S. saving bonds, land, life insurance, personal property, vehicles, deemed resources, and anything else an individual owns that could be converted into cash and used for food and shelter needs.
When qualifying and establishing an appropriate Special Needs Trust there are certain words or verbiage that may seem a bit confusing or unclear. To lessen the confusion and increase a better understanding of specific terms we have created a list of relevant terms with appropriate definitions related to the Pooled Special Needs Trusts.
William E. Lindahl, MBA, CLPF