In April 2020, The Arc of Massachusetts shared an email announcing the good news about the economic impact (stimulus) payments that were being distributed from the federal government, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is widely known that individuals who receive Massachusetts Medicaid (or MassHealth) benefits cannot have more than $2,000 in resources (with a few exceptions, including having an ABLE account or a Special Needs Trust). However, MA Medicaid permitted recipients of the stimulus payment to exceed the $2,000 resource limit — but only for a period of 12 months. This is a quote from last year’s written communication on this issue:
“Stimulus payments are not included in countable income and resource calculations when determining eligibility for Medicaid. An individual has an additional 12 months from receiving the payment to spend down these funds before they are counted as a resource.“
The purpose of this message is to remind Medicaid beneficiaries with I/DD and their caregivers that the end of the 12 month “spend down” period will occur soon. If last year’s stimulus funds that were received by an individual with I/DD have not yet been spent, please do that soon.
Because of the ongoing pandemic, if it is not possible to purchase the items that would normally be obtained for the benefit of the individual with I/DD, opening an ABLE account may be a good solution. For information on ABLE accounts you may want to check these two websites:
- The ABLE National Resource Center: https://ablenrc.org
- Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority: https://www.mefa.org/save/attainable-savings-plan
Please share this information with others who may also be interested.