Dec 12, 2021

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2021 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards

Anne Marie Costello, Acting Deputy Administrator and Director Center for Medicaid and CHIP Services (CMCS)

Certain Medicaid income and resource standards are adjusted annually in accordance with changes in
the SSI federal benefit rate (FBR) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). These include some of the standards described in section 1924 of the Social Security Act (the Act), which describes the financial eligibility rules (the spousal impoverishment rules) that apply when married individuals seek coverage of certain long-term services and supports.

While some of the spousal impoverishment standards, such as the maximum community spouse income maintenance allowance and community spouse minimum and maximum resource allowances, are adjusted each January, section 1924 of the Act directs that the community spouses minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance (MMMNA) be adjusted, in accordance with changes to the federal poverty level, effective July 1st of each year. Additionally, as the community spouses monthly housing allowance (which is the basis for determining if the community spouse may have an excess shelter allowance) is calculated based on a percentage of the MMMNA, the housing allowance is adjusted each July 1 as well.

Included with this informational bulletin is the revised 2021 SSI and Spousal Impoverishment Standards chart that displays the updated MMMNA and Community Spouse Monthly Housing Allowances. These standards are also available on Medicaid.gov at https://www.medicaid.gov/medicaid/eligibility/spousal-impoverishment/index.html.

Please update your standards in accordance with this information. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Gene Coffey, Technical Director, Division of Medicaid Eligibility Policy at 410-786-2234 or Gene.Coffey@cms.hhs.gov.

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