Medical Assistance for Long-Term Care Services Community Spouse Asset Allowance

The Community Spouse Asset Allowance (CSAA) is the amount of assets the community spouse can retain. A couple must consider many factors when deciding which assets to include in the CSAA including tax implications as well as personal factors such as the desire to retain ownership of a particular asset.

Determining the Community Spouse Asset Allowance

The couple must decide for themselves which assets to designate to the CSAA. The couple can contact a tax accountant, an attorney, or some who specializes in estate planning for questions about which assets they should include. The amount of the couple's total assets, as determined by the asset evaluation, is compared to the maximum CSAA. The community spouse may keep up to the maximum CSAA in effect on the date of the request for MA-LTC. The maximum CSAA is updated annually.

Treatment of Non-Homestead Life Estates in the CSAA

The value of a non-homestead life estates interest owned by the community spouse cannot be excluded unless the interest is transferred to the LTC spouse. Otherwise, the value is counted toward the maximum CSAA limit.

Notification requirements

The LTC spouse, community spouse, and the LTC spouse's authorized representative, if applicable, must be sent the Designation of Assets (DHS-3340C), to provide written notice of the assets the couple designated toward the CSAA.

Increased Community Spouse Asset Allowance

The CSAA is increased beyond the maximum CSAA in the following situations:

  • A court, due to a legal separation, orders an amount of the couple’s assets for the community spouse that is greater than the CSAA.

  • The community spouse qualifies for additional income-producing assets to meet the community spouse’s monthly maintenance needs. 

Additional Income-Producing Assets to Meet Community Spouse’s Monthly Maintenance Needs

A community spouse may keep additional income-producing assets above the CSAA, if he or she cannot meet his or her monthly maintenance needs with the income allocated from the LTC spouse combined with his or her own income.

The couple must meet the following requirements for the community spouse to keep additional income-producing assets above the CSAA:

  • The community spouse’s income, combined with any income allocation from the LTC spouse, is less than the calculated monthly maintenance needs.

  • The CSAA must already include as many income-producing assets as possible.

  • The LTC spouse must make available, and the community spouse must accept, the community spouse income allocation. The couple cannot refuse to make or accept a community spouse income allocation as a way to reduce the community spouse’s income in order to qualify for additional income-producing assets.

  • The purchase of an income-producing asset for the benefit of the community spouse, under this provision, must occur before MA-LTC may be approved.

  • The amount of assets above the CSAA is limited to an amount necessary to produce the additional income needed to meet the community spouse's monthly maintenance needs.

  • Assets already producing an income cannot be used to purchase another income-producing asset, unless the asset purchased produces more income than the original asset.

Transfers from the LTC Spouse to the Community Spouse

Assets considered available to the community spouse through the CSAA must be put in the community spouse’s name no later than the LTC spouse’s next annual renewal. At the LTC spouse’s next annual renewal, all assets still in the name of the LTC spouse are evaluated in order to determine asset eligibility.

  • Income from an asset in the LTC spouse’s name is counted in the LTC income calculation even if it is income produced by an asset that is considered part of the CSAA. 

Legal Citations

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.059

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.0913, subdivision 12