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Issue Alert - 04-07-10

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Jul 06, 2004

Issue Summary:

A “homestead,” which is not counted as an asset in determining asset-eligibility for SSI-related Medicaid, may be located outside the state of Michigan.

Persons Affected:

Individuals applying for Medicaid based on disability or advanced age (age 65 or older).

For More Information:

Michigan Poverty Law Program 611 Church Street, Suite 4A Ann Arbor, MI 48104-3000(734) 998-6100(734) 998-9125 Fax



What's Happening?

FIA policy now clearly excludes a “homestead” even if it is not located in Michigan. There are four situations in which a person’s homestead is not counted even if the person is not currently living in it.(1) If the person intends to return to the homestead to live, the homestead is not counted. Note that the individual must be a Michigan resident in order to qualify for Medicaid in Michigan. For Medicaid, residency means living in the state of Michigan with an intent to stay OR having come to live in Michigan in order to find a job or to take a job in Michigan. Therefore, a person who came to Michigan to look for work or to take a job may have an out-of-state homestead. (2) If the person is living in a long term care facility, and adult foster care home, or a home for the aged, the homestead the person lived in previously is not counted. (3) If a co-owner of the homestead is living in it as the co-owner’s home, and the Medicaid applicant or recipient lived in the homestead in the past, the homestead is not counted.(4) If the Medicaid applicant or recipient is living in an institution (a facility that provides room, board, and treatment to more than 3 people, such as an licensed foster care home, a long term care facility, etc.) and the homestead is occupied by certain close relatives who are dependent on the applicant or recipient, it will not be counted as an asset even if the applicant or recipient never lived in the homestead. See Program Eligibility Manual (PEM) 400 pp. 17-19, available online at for details on the homestead exclusion.

What Should Advocates Do?

Share this information with clients and other agencies.

What Should Clients Do?

If you were denied Medicaid because of an out-of-state homestead that should not have been counted, re-apply for Medicaid. If you were denied within the last 3 months, request a hearing and seek legal advice (see below).

Finding Help

Most legal aid and legal services offices handle these types of cases, and they do not charge a fee. You can locate the "free" legal services or legal aid office that serves your county on the Michigan LawHelp web site ( or look in the yellow pages under "attorneys" or call the toll-free lawyer referral number, (800) 968-0738.