All income exemptions used for Medical Assistance budgeting apply for the QMB program. Also exclude the following cash grants: Temporary Assistance, SP, BP, SAB, and SNC.
As a result of federal legislation, effective January 1, 1991, cost of living (COLA) increases in OASDI and SSI which are received in January of each year cannot be considered on the QMB budget until the effective date of the Federal Poverty guidelines in April of the same year.
Senate Bill 577 (2007) amended RSMo 208.153 to specify that programs in which income eligibility is determined by Federal Poverty Level (FPL) will not be adjusted for annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) changes in OASDI or SSI benefits until the next FPL adjustment.
FAMIS disregards the COLA amount entered for January’s income for the QMB program until the next FPL adjustment for April. SSA and SSI incomes for individuals in any FAMIS EU entered after the adjustment must include the pre-COLA adjusted amount for December and the COLA-adjusted amount for January with a verification code of CO (COLA).
Example 1: Applications Made After COLA Mass Adjustment (December)
On February 8, Ms. Foster applies for Food Stamps and QMB benefits. Ms. Foster has been receiving Social Security Disability Income (SSDI/SSA) for five years. Enter Ms. Foster’s pre-COLA adjusted SSA income for the month of December with a verification code of HC or TC. Enter her COLA-adjusted SSA income for the budget month of January and ongoing with verification code of CO. The Food Stamp EU eligibility determination budgets the current (COLA-adjusted) SSA amounts; the QMB eligibility determination budgets the pre-COLA adjusted SSA amount.
Example 2: Active EUs with Participants that Begin Receiving SSA/SSI Between COLA and FPL Mass Adjustments
The Jackson family is active in FAMIS, receiving QMB and Food Stamp benefits. Mrs. Jackson reports that daughter, Jessie, begins receiving SSI February 1. Enter Jessie’s new SSI income for the month of February with a verification code of HC or TC. Continue to budget Mrs. Jackson’s pre-COLA SSA income that she was receiving based on disability using a verification code of CO; do not change the verification code from CO to HC or TC.
NOTE: FAMIS does not disregard the COLA amount entered for January’s income for Blind Pension (BP), Vendor (VEND), Missouri Children with Developmental Disabilities (MOCDD), Home and Community Based (HCB) Waiver Services, Supplemental Aid to the Blind (SAB), and Supplemental Nursing Care (SNC) programs.