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Veteran's Benefits Not "Income" for Medicaid Purposes - Galetta v. Velez, 13-532 (D.N.J.)

In a dramatic reversal of New Jersey's "just because" testing for Medicaid eligibility, District Court Judge Robert Kugler upended the State's long-standing policy of insisting that VA pension benefits count as income. Instead, Judge Kugler wrote that the State's position is entirely unsupported by authority of any kind whatsoever. Rather, the test should be whether the VA pension benefits are based on unreimbursed medical expenses (which is nearly always the case). Generally, those who qualify for VA pension benefits only do so after they have long term care expenses that approach or exceed their income. Without these liabilities, the Medicaid applicant would not qualify at all. As such, the Court ruled, these VA benefits should not be countable as to Medicaid eligibility.

Decision on reconsideration after the jump...