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KNOW YOUR RIGHTS: Fact Sheet Explaining Basic Rules on NYS Financial Medicaid Eligibility for People who are Disabled, Aged 65+, or Blind

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Posted: 17 Nov, 2010
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)
Updated: 28 Jan, 2022
by Valerie Bogart (New York Legal Assistance Group)

This Fact Sheet (updated for 2022 in Jan. 2022) is intended for New Yorkers who are age 65+ or who have disabilities, or their family members and caregivers.  It explains the basic financial rules on eligibility for Medicaid in the community for this category of people, and explains how to apply for Medicaid if you are seeking home care.  

Community Medicaid  includes all hospital and doctors' care, and the various home care programs.   The rules for eligibility for Medicaid to pay for nursing home care are different, such as the rules on transfer of assets.  These are explained very briefly here but more extensively in these articles.

This fact sheet explains how to calculate if you to "spend down" excess income.   See this article for tips on special strategies to reduce or eliminate the spend-down.  

The reason this Fact Sheet is only for people who are Disabled, Aged 65+ and Blind ("DAB")(a/k/a "SSI-related) is that the rules are very different for people under age 65 who are not disabled.   

HEADS UP - If Governor Hochul's January 2022 Budget Proposal is adopted, big changes will come in 2023.  The Income limits in this fact sheet will go up to the same limits used for younger people.  And the asset test will be eliminated.  But for 2022 the old rules remain.   Stay tuned for updates here.

Meanwhile the current rules in 2022:

  • Since January 2010, individuals  who are under age 65 and who are not disabled have had no limit on the resources or assets they are allowed to have. 

  • The rules for how income is counted are also different for people who are Disabled, Aged, or Blind than other people.  These are explained briefly in this Fact Sheet, and more extensively in Medicaid Spend-down (or "excess income" or "surplus income" program) and the Income Disregard chart, and in other articles on this website. 

    • MAGI - Under the Affordable Care Act, individuals who do NOT have Medicare have no asset test and higher income limits compared to age 65+ and disabled (DAB) individuals. Also, their income is counted differently than for "DAB."   They use "MAGI" (Modified Adjusted Gross Income") budgeting.  DAB individuals are "non-MAGI."  For  more on MAGI see these articles  here:

This article was authored by the Evelyn Frank Legal Resources Program of New York Legal Assistance Group.


Attached files
item IncomeDisregards.pdf (106 kb) Download
item Medicaid Basic - 2022 - FINAL.pdf (316 kb) Download
item ResourceDisregards.pdf (66 kb) Download

Also read
item Medicaid Personal Care or Home Attendant Services
item Income and Resource Limits for New York State Public Health Insurance Programs
item How to use funeral planning to become eligible for Medicaid (updated fact sheet - 2015)
item Transfer of Asset Rules in Medicaid -- The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005
item The Various Types of Medicaid Home Care in New York State
item Medicaid Spend-Down
item The Medicaid Buy-In for Working People With Disabilities (MBI-WPD)
item Medicaid Certified Home Health Agency (CHHA) Services
item Where to Apply for Medicaid and Medicaid Home Care in New York City
item Nursing Home Medicaid Coverage - Basic Financial Eligibility Rules about Income, Resources, and Spousal Protections
item Medicaid Resource and Income Disregards
item NYS Directives on Medicaid changes under the Affordable Care Act
item "Immediate Need" Personal Care or CDPAP - Fast-Track Application for Medicaid and Home Care - New Procedures
item Know Your Rights: NYLAG Webinars on Medicare and Medicaid -
item Special Medicaid Income Rules That May Eliminate Your "Spend-down" or "Surplus Income"

Also listed in
folder Medicaid -> Getting Started
folder Medicaid -> Financial Eligibility
folder Medicaid -> Home Care
folder Medicaid -> Applying For and Keeping Medicaid

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