Today the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court issued its decision in the cases of Nadeau v. Director of the Office of Medicaid and Daley v. Secretary of the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. In the unanimous decision, the SJC held that the ability of an applicant for benefits to reside in property that has been transferred into an irrevocable trust does not render the corpus of the trust a countable resource in a MassHealth long-term care benefit application:
“We conclude that neither the grant in an irrevocable trust of a right of use and occupancy in a primary residence to an applicant nor the retention by an applicant of a life estate in his or her primary residence makes the equity in the home owned by the trust a countable asset for the purpose of determining Medicaid eligibility for long-term care benefits.”
This decision also clarifies that Federal law is controlling in a state’s eligibility determination, an issue which had been challenged by MassHealth over the past several years. Attorney Lisa Neeley represented the Plaintiff, Mr. Lionel Nadeau, before the SJC. For the full decision, click here.