Incapacitated Medicaid Applicant’s Bank Account Is Available Resource Despite Inability to Access It

An Indiana appeals court rules that a Medicaid applicant’s bank account is an available resource even though the applicant was incapacitated and did not have the actual ability to access the account. Southwood Healthcare Center v. Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (Ind. Ct. App., No. 21A-MI-1778, March 11, 2022).

Samuel Hill entered a nursing home and was declared by a doctor to be incapacitated with dementia. The nursing home, acting as Mr. Hill’s representative applied for Medicaid benefits on his behalf. The state denied the benefits due to excess resources because Mr. Hill had a bank account balance totaling $11,367.71.

Mr. Hill appealed, arguing that due to his incapacity, he did not actually have the ability to access the funds in the bank account. The state denied the appeal, and the trial court affirmed. Mr. Hill appealed.

The Indiana Court of Appeals affirms, holding that the bank account is an available resource even if Mr. Hill did not have the ability to access the funds. According to the court, “because [Mr.] Hill’s right and authority over the funds remained intact, the funds were available to him.”

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