Medical Assistance for People Who Are Age 65 or Older or People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability

2.3.3.2.3 Excluded Assets

An excluded asset is not counted when calculating a person’s total countable assets. An asset can be excluded in whole or in part. Some excluded assets are excluded indefinitely while others are excluded for only a specific period of time. Some excluded assets are excluded only if identifiable from other assets. Income retained after the month of receipt become assets.

Identifiable Assets

Some assets must be identifiable to be excluded under the bases of eligibility for Medical Assistance for People Who Are Age 65 or Older, or People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability (MA-ABD). Identifiable means that the assets can be distinguished from other assets.

An asset is identifiable in the following situations:

  • The funds are kept physically apart from other funds, such as a separate bank account.

  • The funds are not kept physically apart from other funds, but can be identified using a complete history of account transactions dating back to the initial date of deposit. The person’s own records should be used, if possible. The person’s allegation regarding the date and amount of a deposit of excluded funds is accepted if it agrees with the evidence on file for receipt of the funds.

    • When a withdrawal is made from a commingled account, the non-excluded funds are assumed to be withdrawn first, leaving as much of the excluded funds in the account as possible.

    • The excluded funds remaining in the account can only be added to by deposits of subsequently received excluded funds and excluded interest.

    • If interest on the excluded funds is excluded, the percent of an interest payment to be excluded is the same as the percent of funds in the account that is excluded at the time the interest is posted. The excluded interest is then added to the excluded funds in the account.

Excluded Assets if Identifiable

The following assets are excluded if they are identifiable. Exclude the assets indefinitely unless another time period is indicated. Descriptions of each type of assets are located in Appendix A Types of Assets.

  • Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) account

  • Agent Orange Settlement Fund payments

  • Blood Product Settlement payments

  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) payments. Payments to volunteers, including the following payments authorized under the Domestic Volunteer Services Act, are excluded:

    • AmeriCorps

    • Urban Crime Prevention Program

    • Special Volunteer Programs under Title I

    • Demonstration Programs under Title II

    • Senior Corp:

      • Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP)

      • Foster Grandparent Program

      • Senior Companions

  • Food and nutrition program payments. This includes assistance provided by:

    • Programs established under the Child Nutrition Act, including the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program and federally funded school breakfast and milk programs.

    • National School Lunch program

    • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

    • Minnesota Food Assistance Program

    • Minnesota Grown Supplemental Food Program

  • Individual Development Accounts (IDA)

  • Japanese and Aleutian Restitution payments

  • Jensen Settlement Agreement payments. Payments received by class members are excluded. Funds received under this agreement from countable assets at the time of application and at each renewal are deducted.

  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payments

  • Nazi Persecution payments, including payments inherited from the original recipient, and any interest accrued from these funds.

  • Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS), assets associated with a person's PASS are excluded if they are not already excluded under another provision

  • Radiation Exposure Compensation Trust Fund (RECTF) payments

  • Real estate taxes, homeowner’s insurance and funds set aside for upkeep expenses of the property a person owns. Up to one year’s expenses are excluded. Funds must be kept in a separate account.

  • Relocation Assistance payments, federal

  • Retroactive Retirement, Survivors and Disability Insurance (RSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are excluded for the nine calendar months following the month in which the person receives the benefits. Any accrued interest on that account is counted as income in the month received and as an asset in the following months.

    • People under age 18 who have representative payees and are eligible for past-due SSI payments must have the funds segregated in a dedicated account in order for the exclusion to apply. If a bank requires a deposit of funds in order to open such an account, these funds may remain commingled in the account until the end of the month following the month in which the retroactive benefits are paid.

    • Supplemental Needs Trusts policy is followed if the lump sum payment is issued under the Sullivan vs Zebley decision, and is used to fund a supplemental needs trust. See MA-ABD Supplemental Needs Trusts for more information.

  • Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Fund payments

  • Student financial aid

    • Exclude the following types of student financial aid income:

      • Student financial aid received under Title IV of the Higher Education Act

      • Student financial aid received from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)

    • Non-Title IV and non-BIA grants, scholarships, fellowships and other non-loan financial aid, if used or set aside to pay educational expenses until the month following the last month the student is enrolled in classes.

    • Coverdell Educational Savings Accounts (ESA)

      • Funds in a Coverdell ESA are excluded for the designated beneficiary of the account.

      • Distributions from a Coverdell ESA are excluded if the funds are used for educational expenses.

        • Excluded for the designated beneficiary of the account for nine months following the month of receipt of a distribution.

        • Excluded for anyone who is not a beneficiary who contributes money to the account beginning the month after the month the funds are transferred into the account.

        • Excluded, due to being a conversion of an asset, for a contributor who is the designated beneficiary beginning with the month after the month the cash is transferred into the account.

    • Veteran’s Affairs (VA) benefits designated as educational assistance both under graduate and graduate students until the month following the last month the student is enrolled in classes.

    • Plan to Achieve Self Support (PASS) student financial aid

    • Training expenses paid by the Trade Adjustment Reform Act of 2002

    • Qualified Tuition Programs (QTP), also known as a 529 Plan, for the designated beneficiary (the student or future student) who is not the owner of the account and does not have any rights to the funds in the account. The account is counted as an asset for the owner.

  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Dedicated Child Account

  • Tribal payments and interests. The following tribal assets are excluded. See MA-ABD Tribal Payments and Interests for other assets owned by American Indians that may not be excluded.

    • Tribal trust or restricted lands, individual interest

    • Tribal per capita payments from a tribal trust

    • Tribal land settlements and judgments

  • Uniform Gift to Minors Act/Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UGMA/UTMA)

    • The full value of assets established under the UGMA/UTMA is excluded.

      • An adult designated to receive, maintain and manage custodial property on behalf of a minor beneficiary is not the owner of UGMA/UTMA assets because he or she cannot legally use any of the funds for his or her support and maintenance.

    • UGMA/UTMA property is required by statute to be transferred to the beneficiary at the end of the custodianship (usually at the age of 18 or 21 depending on state law). When the beneficiary reaches the age of majority the property becomes available to the beneficiary. It is counted as income in the month of transfer and as an asset in the following month.

  • Veterans’ Children with Certain Birth Defects payments

  • Vietnamese Commando Compensation Act payments

Excluded Assets Regardless of Identifiability

The following assets may be excluded whether or not they are identifiable. These assets are excluded indefinitely unless another time period is indicated.

  • Adoption Assistance payments are excluded in the month of receipt and thereafter.

  • Accrued Interest on assets is excluded if any excess is properly reduced at eligibility redetermination.

  • Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA) payments

  • Appeal Payments are excluded as assets in the month received and for three months after the month of receipt.

  • Clinical trial participation payments excluded by SSI. The first $2,000 a person receives during a calendar year is excluded.

  • Cobell Settlement for American Indians for a period of 12 months beginning with the month of receipt. This exclusion applies to all household members.

  • Crime victim payments

  • Disaster assistance, federal payments

  • Disaster assistance, state payments

  • Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation (FVEC) payments

  • Foster Care payments

  • Gifts to Children with Life Threatening Conditions from 501(c)(3) tax-exempt corporation. These are not considered assets of a parent and apply only to children who are under age 18.

    • Cash gifts up to $2,000 in any calendar year are excluded. The amount of total cash payments that exceed $2,000 each year are counted as an asset.

      • Multiple cash gifts in the same calendar year are added together and up to $2,000 of the total is excluded, even if none of the cash gifts exceeds $2,000 individually.

  • Homestead real property

  • Household goods and personal effects

  • I-35W Bridge Collapse payments. The following payments made to survivors of the I-35W bridge collapse are excluded:

    • Payments from the I-35W Emergency Hardship Relief Fund

    • Payments from the Catastrophic Survivor Compensation Fund

  • James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010

  • Kinship payments

  • Proceeds from the Sale of a Homestead are excluded if a person:

    • Plans to use the proceeds to buy another homestead, and

    • Does so within three full calendar months of receiving the funds

  • Reimbursements for replacement of lost, damaged or stolen excluded assets are excluded for the month of receipt and nine months thereafter. The funds are excluded for up to nine more months if the person tries to replace the assets during that time, but cannot do so for good reason.

  • Representative Payee Misuse payments. If a person’s SSI, RSDI, or Veterans Benefits for the Elderly is reissued because an individual representative payee misuses benefits, the re-issuance is excluded as an asset for nine months if retained after the month of receipt.

  • State Annuities for Certain Veterans

  • Relocation payments, state and local

  • Tax credits, rebates, and refunds are excluded for 12 months after the month of receipt

  • Term life insurance

Potentially Excluded Assets

Some assets may be excluded under the following policies. See the corresponding pages for more information:

  1. MA-ABD Tribal Payments and Interests

  2. MA-ABD Burial Space Exclusion

  3. MA-ABD Burial Fund Exclusion

  4. MA-ABD Retirement Funds & Plans

  5. MA-ABD Trusts

  6. MA-ABD Automobile and other vehicles used for transportation

Self-Support Excluded Assets

Self-Support is the use of certain property to earn wages, to produce goods and services for personal use, or to derive income from property. Self-Employment is one type of self-support.

Self-Employment Excluded Assets

All assets of a trade or business, regardless of value, that are in current use and needed for the person to earn income are excluded. Current use includes seasonal use of an asset. The excluded assets can be real or personal property. There is no limit to the amount of assets that can be excluded under this provision. Self-employment liquid assets are excluded if they are identifiable according to the rules in the Identifiable Assets section.

When a person alleges owning trade or business property not already being excluded, it must be determined whether a valid trade or business exists, and if the property is in current use. A person must provide a written statement with the following information:

  • A description of the trade or business

  • A description of the assets of the trade or business

  • The number of years the business has been operating

  • The identity of any co-owners

  • The estimated gross and net earnings of the trade or business for the current tax year

Self-employment assets not currently in use because of reasons beyond the person’s control can be excluded if they expect to resume use of the asset within one year. The person must sign a written statement with the following information:

  • The reason the asset is not in use

  • The date the asset was last used

  • When the asset is expected to be used again

The exclusion is extended for an additional year if the reason for not using the asset is a disabling condition. The person must sign a written statement with the following information:

  • The nature of the disabling condition

  • When the activity ceased

  • When the property is expected to be used again

Income Producing Self-Support Assets

Up to $6,000 of the equity value of non-business, non-liquid, income-producing property that produces an annual return of at least six percent of the equity value is excluded:

  • The $6,000 exclusion is limited to the combined equity value of all property meeting the six percent rule.

  • If the person owns more than one piece of income-producing property, each piece must meet the six percent return on the equity value.

  • If the earnings drop below six percent for reasons beyond the person’s control, the property is excluded up to 24 months to allow the property to resume producing a six percent return.

Non-Income Producing Self-Support Assets

Nonbusiness property essential to self-support can be real or personal property. It produces goods or services essential to daily activities if, for example, it is used to:

  • Grow produce or livestock solely for personal consumption in the person’s household; or

  • Perform activities essential to the production of food solely for home consumption.

Up to $6,000 of the equity value for each asset is excluded. Any portion of the property’s equity value in excess of $6,000 is not excluded.

While this category of property may encompass a vehicle used solely in a nonbusiness self-support activity (e.g., a garden tractor, or a boat used for subsistence fishing), it does not include any vehicle that qualifies as an automobile. See MA-ABD Automobiles and Other Vehicles for Transportation for more information.

When a person alleges owning property that he or she uses to produce goods or services necessary for daily activities, obtain his or her statement giving:

  • A description of the property;

  • How it is used; and

  • An estimate of its current market value and any encumbrances on it

Personal Property Used by an Employee

Non-liquid personal property used by a person in employment, whether it is required by the employer or not, is excluded. The person must provide a written statement with the following information:

  • The name, address and telephone number of the employer

  • A general description of the personal assets used for work

  • A general description of the person’s job duties

  • Whether the personal assets are currently being used

Personal property not currently in use because of reasons beyond the person’s control can be excluded if they expect to resume use of the asset within one year. The person must sign a written statement with the following information:

  • The reason the asset is not in use

  • The date the asset was last used

  • When the asset is expected to be used again

The exclusion is extended for an additional year if the reason for not using the asset is a disabling condition. The person must sign a written statement with the following information:

  • The nature of the disabling condition

  • When the activity ceased

  • When the property is expected to be used again

If the statement indicates that the person no longer intends to resume using the assets for employment, they become countable assets unless unavailable or excluded under another provision.

Legal Citations

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 1a

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 3

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.056, subdivision 3b

United States Code, title 42, section 1396p(d)