Section 208.010:8 RSMo. states in part, ‘…when determining eligibility for assistance under this chapter there shall be disregarded … the home of the applicant or recipient when the home is providing shelter to the applicant or recipient, or his spouse or dependent child.’
Exempt the home, regardless of its value, as a resource so long as the home is the principal place of residence of the participant, the participant’s spouse or dependent child. Only one home may be established as the principal place of residence.
A ‘home’ is defined as real property that is furnishing shelter to the individual, the individual’s spouse or dependent child. A mobile home that is furnishing shelter is included in this definition regardless of whether the mobile home can be moved or who owns the land on which it is located.
All the land on which the home is located is considered part of the home so long as the land is adjoining and there is no other home on the land. Land in a city or town must be in the same city block. Land in rural areas is considered adjoining even though a road may separate two tracts.
Section 6014 of the DRA of 2005 created a new subsection to Section 1917 of the Social Security Act. Section 1917 (f)(1)(A) which provides that in determining eligibility for MO HealthNet long term care services the participant’s equity interest in his or her home cannot exceed specified limits. Home equity and ownership are to be verified. Effective January 1, 2022, if a participant’s equity in their primary home is over $636,000, they are not eligible for MO HealthNet under MHABD vendor, or HCB benefits. The definition of homestead has not changed. Policies regarding substantial home equity apply only when determining eligibility for payment for MO HealthNet long term care services. The participant may be eligible for other programs that do not include long-term care services.
The home equity policy does not apply in the following conditions:
- the spouse of the participant is living lawfully in the participant’s home,
- the participant’s child, who is under age 21, is living lawfully in the participant’s home, or
- the participant’s child, who is 21 or over, is blind or permanently and totally disabled and is living lawfully in the participant’s home.
A participant may use a reverse mortgage or home equity loan to reduce the equity in the home. Verification of the proceeds of the loan is required. Do not consider the payments to participant from either type of loan as income. Inform the participant that proceeds from a reverse mortgage or home equity loan must be spent. Any of the money retained the following month by the participant from that payment is a resource and transfer penalties apply to improper disposition of the assets.