Medicaid and Nursing Home Assistance

When should I apply for Medicaid?

Alabama provides multiple forms of assistance for the elderly and disabled through the Alabama Medicaid Agency. If you are elderly or disabled, you may be wondering when you should apply for Medicaid. We’ve outlined some basic information here for you, but if you have specific questions about your circumstances, you should consider talking with an experienced Medicaid applications lawyer.

When to Apply for Nursing Home Assistance

If you are seeking financial assistance with your nursing home expenses, you should apply for Medicaid in Alabama after you have been a resident of a Medicare or Medicaid-approved nursing home for at least 30 continuous days, unless you receive SSI, in which case, you do not have to wait 30 days. Your income must be below the limit, which changes every year. The 2017 income limit for an individual is $2,205 per month. You might be able to use a Qualifying Income Trust (QIT) to bring your income below the limit if your income is over $2,205 per month.

In addition to the income limit, your assets must be below $2,000 for an individual, and you must be a U.S. citizen who lives in Alabama. Not all assets count toward the $2,000 limit. Different rules can apply if you have a spouse who will continue to live in the home while you are in the nursing home.

You must apply for all other benefits programs for which you are eligible, as well as all other sources of income, including annuities, pensions, retirement, disability, and veteran’s benefits. If you qualify for nursing home financial assistance, you can choose instead to use a Home and Community Based waiver to get the care you need without living in a nursing home.

You should apply for Medicaid in Alabama if you fall within one of the categories of people served by the Alabama Medicaid Agency and you meet the requirements of that particular program. The Alabama Medicaid Agency offers:

  • Institutional care for stays in hospitals, nursing homes, and ICF-IID facilities
  • Home and Community-Based Waivers to help the elderly, mentally disabled, homebound, and disabled
  • Home and Community-Based Waivers for people living in the community who have certain diagnoses

  • SSI-related Medicaid programs for people whose Medicaid benefits are legally protected but who no longer receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits

  • Some disabled people who meet the medical criteria and qualify for SSI based on financial need.

How to Apply for Medicaid in Alabama

sYou must send your completed application to the correct District Office of the Alabama Medicaid Agency for your area. The back of the application form contains information on the District Offices. They will process your application faster if you include copies of as much financial information as possible with your original form. Keep your original documents and send a copy of them with your application. Here are some examples of items you should send the Alabama Medicaid Agency:
  •  Your Medicare and Social Security cards
  • Proof of all your gross income (before taxes and other deductions). This includes Social Security, disability, and veteran’s benefits, all pensions and retirement payments, and all other income
  • Copies of your bank statements for the last five years
  • Verification of all your assets
Many people do not get Medicaid benefits the first time they apply, particularly if they apply on their own, without the guidance of a lawyer. You should talk with an experienced Alabama Medicaid applications attorney for advice on applying for Medicaid in Alabama.