Protecting the Community Spouse: Income and Resource Allowances

When a married individual applies for Medicaid, the law protects the healthier spouse (known as the Community Spouse) if he or she has low income. The law also allows the Community Spouse to keep more resources than the $2,000 limit that applies to single applicants.

The rules describing how the Community Spouse income allowance is calculated are at www.incomeallowance.com. The income standard is updated each year and is posted on the Medicaid.gov website. in 2023, the minimum income allowance is $2,465 and the maximum income allowance is $3,715.50. Georgia allows the maximum allowance. Tennessee uses the minimum, but must allow a shelter allowance if proof of shelter costs is provided.

The rules describing how the Community Spouse resource allowance is calculated are at www.resourceallowance.com. As with the income allowance, it is updated annually and is posted on the Medicaid.gov website. in 2023, the minimum resource allowance is $29,724 and the maximum resource allowance is $148,620. Georgia allows the maximum allowance. Some other States, like Tennessee, only allow one-half of the countable marital resources between the minimum and maximum.

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