Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment

As applies to the Community Care Program Services

The Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment standards for Community Care Program services, mandated by Public Act 87-740, seek to prevent a married couple from being impoverished by the costs of long-term care, allowing them to maintain an adequate estate and monthly income, while providing a resource which will pay for Community Care Program (CCP) services for the impaired spouse.

It is the policy of the Department on Aging that CCP applicants/clients who are married with one spouse applying for CCP services are required to apply for Medical Assistance through Medicaid and be eligible or enrolled with a spend down for such assistance to be eligible for CCP services. If they do not meet either of these eligibility criteria, they cannot receive CCP services.

Spousal Impoverishment Prevention allows a couple to divide their assets for purposes of eligibility when one spouse needs Medicaid payment for nursing facility care or Community Care Program services. The spouse not needing Medicaid payment may keep $109,560 in assets.

As Applies to Nursing Home Care

Federal law protects spouses of nursing home residents from losing all of their income and assets to pay for nursing home care for their spouse. When one member of a couple enters a nursing home and applies for Medicaid, his or her eligibility is determined under what are called the "spousal impoverishment" rules. "Spousal impoverishment" helps make sure that the spouse still living at home will have the money needed to pay for living expenses by protecting a certain amount of the couple’s resources, as well as at least a portion of the nursing home resident’s income, for the use of the spouse who is still at home.

Effective January 1, 2014, the Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment Standards are:

  • The Community Spouse Asset Allowance Standard: $109,560*
  • The Community Spouse Maintenance Needs Allowance Standard: $2,739*
*Amounts will increase each year.

For more information, contact the Illinois Department on Aging Senior HelpLine. The Prevention of Spousal Impoverishment program is handled by the local Illinois Department of Human Services office.

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