I get this question at almost every consult for a nursing home emergency and from many other professionals I work with when I do nursing home planning. This question is common because it’s difficult to answer. Here’s the good news: You get to keep all of your income no matter the amount!
Now to answer the actual question: Maybe. In Ohio, there is a complicated formula that determines how much income an ill spouse needs to pay to the nursing home.
The Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance is $1,967. The healthy spouse gets to keep at least that much, regardless of who is the source of the income. However, if you expenses are high, you may also get to keep more than that amount. Some common expenses that will drive up the healthy spouse’s income are housing payments, medical expenses, or the high heating bills we often see in Ohio in January and February. Unfortunately, high credit card bills or cable bills don’t count towards these expenses.
If your income is above $1,967, you may still get to keep some of the ill spouse’s income. To receive additional income, you have to show that you have what are called “unreasonable expenses”. At most, you’ll be able to your spouse’s income up to a total of $2,981.
Keep in mind that no matter what, you’ll get to keep all of the income that is paid to you, even if it exceeds $2,981. The additional computation only applies if you need income from your ill spouse to supplement your high expenses, up to $2,981.
How much income you’ll keep is different for every family, because every situation is different. For questions about how much income you or your loved one can keep, please consult the elder law attorneys at AlerStallings, the top family law firm in Ohio according to Columbus CEO and Columbus Business First.