Section 1924 of the Social Security Act allows a hearing officer to increase the spousal share and allow additional assets to be transferred to the community spouse. This is done if the hearing establishes that the community spouse share determined under 1030.035.20 Spousal Share (in relation to the amount of income generated by it) is inadequate to raise the community spouse’s income to the minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMNA). Only a hearing officer or a court may increase the spousal share for this purpose.
For vendor applications made on or after August 28, 2005, subsection 12 of RSMo 208.010 requires the allotment of an institutionalized spouse’s income to the community spouse prior to the raising of the community spouse’s share of the couple’s assets. When making a decision on the need for a higher spousal share, the hearing officer will look at the couple’s income first. If the income of the community spouse is less than the current MMMA, the hearing officer will determine the maximum amount of the institutionalized spouse’s income that could be allocated to the community spouse. If that amount is enough to raise the community spouse’s income to the MMMA, the spousal share of the assets will not be raised. If the income of the institutionalized spouse is not sufficient to raise the community spouse’s income to the MMMA, the community spouse’s share of the assets may be raised.
NOTE: Income that is deposited into a qualifying income trust, see 1025.015.04.01.02, may be reallocated to a community spouse pursuant only to a hearing under 42 USC 1396r-5(e)(2).
Couples who request an assessment but are not applying for benefit benefits are not entitled to a hearing on the amount of the spousal share. When application is made for vendor benefits, either spouse may request a hearing on the determination of the spousal share.