Recently we’ve referred to the community spouse as a super hero. For this super hero, the special abilities aren’t mutations or the result of a yellow sun – she can’t fly and he’s not super-strong. Instead, their powers are tied directly to their status as the healthy spouse – the spouse who doesn’t need nursing home care.
One of the community spouse’s “super powers” is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance, or CSRA. The CSRA is the community spouse’s right to preserve additional assets over what the institutionalized spouse or a single Medicaid applicant may keep.
This special ability was created by Congress because it would be irresponsible to force an otherwise healthy and capable person to bankrupt themselves while paying for their spouse’s nursing home. Without the CSRA, a man whose wife was in the nursing home could quickly end up needing state aid for all aspects of his life, not just health care.
The CSRA is a range in Iowa. This means the community spouse may keep half of the couple’s countable assets. For 2020, they are guaranteed a minimum of $25,728 but they may not keep more than $128,640. That means a married couple could keep as much as $128,640 of countable assets – together with their non-countable assets – for their support!
Every Batman needs an Alfred. Call us at (712) 737-3885 to let our elder law experts keep track of the details while you’re out saving the world!