SSI Provision on Countable Resources Does Not Apply to Medicaid Eligibility Determination

An Ohio appeals court rules that a Supplemental Security Income provision regarding countable resources does not apply to a Medicaid applicant’s eligibility determination. Underwood v. Ohio Dept. of Job & Family Servs. (Ohio Ct. App., 11th Dist., No. 2019-G-0215, Dec. 2, 2019).

Lola Underwood owned a piece of property that was in disrepair. She entered a nursing home and applied for Medicaid, indicating she was putting the property up for sale. The state denied her application for excess resources due to the property, which was worth $5,000 to $10,000.

Ms. Underwood appealed, arguing that under 20 CFR § 416.1201, her property was not a countable resource because it could not be converted to cash within 20 days. The state denied the appeal, and a trial court affirmed, holding that 20 CFR § 416.1201 applied to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) determinations, not Medicaid eligibility determinations. Ms. Underwood appealed, arguing that because individuals in Ohio who are eligible for SSI are automatically enrolled in Medicaid, the SSI provision should apply to Medicaid eligibility.

The Ohio Court of Appeals affirms, holding that the SSI provision is not applicable to Medicaid eligibility determinations. The court holds that the provision in Medicaid law containing the definition of resources does not cite or reference 20 CFR § 416.1201, so it is not incorporated into the Medicaid statutory framework.

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