Real Property Is Excess Resource Even Though Medicaid Applicant Couldn't Sell

An Ohio appeals court rules that a Medicaid applicant's real property may be counted as excess resources even though the applicant was unable to sell the property. Communicare v. Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (Ohio Ct. App., 8th Dist., No. 106874, Sept. 19, 2019).

Ohio resident Mohsen Fanous owned three pieces of real property that were collectively valued at around $16,000. When he applied for Medicaid benefits, the state denied his application, finding that the properties put him over the Medicaid resource limit and that it could not verify his other resources.

Mr. Fanous appealed, arguing that the properties should not have been considered as countable resources because he was not able to sell them. The state law definition of resources includes property the applicant has an ownership interest in and has the legal ability to convert to cash. The trial court dismissed the appeal, and Mr. Fanous appealed again.

The Ohio Court of Appeals, Eighth District, affirms, holding that the state properly denied Mr. Fanous's application due to excess resources. According to the court, "whether [Mr.] Fanous was able to find a purchaser is a wholly different consideration from what the regulation contemplated, namely whether [Mr.] Fanous had the legal authority to sell the properties in the first place."

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