Online resource center to help you explore these key issues, and others, regarding your estate.

Practice Areas

Mr. Miller has many years of experience in designing and implementing a comprehensive variety of Trusts, Wills, and other estate planning documents, as well as settling estates in the most expedient and appropriate method. Further, he counsels and assists clients on becoming eligible for VA benefits and Medi-Cal.

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VA Pension/Aid & Attendance/Medi-Cal

Mr. Miller has been active in the area of VA Pension and Medi-Cal for well over a decade. He uses various specialized types of Trusts as well as non-trust strategies to gain eligibility for his clients and save the family money.

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Probate & Estate Administration

Mr. Miller has been settling estates (both simple and complex) for well over 40 years. The starting point is always to create a strategy to settle the estate in the most efficient manner possible with a minimum of taxes. Often times the strategy created allows the family to bypass Probate Court proceedings.

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Medi-Cal Basic


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The goal for Medi-Cal planning is to try to keep as many of the assets (resources) and as much of the income as possible for the use of the well-spouse or, maybe even, the children. Below are two of the important monetary limits for Medi-Cal purposes.

There are really three focuses for Medi-Cal purposes. The first is qualifying for Medi-Cal and the Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) is the limitation that applies. Once a couple has qualified, the next question is how much will Medi-Cal pay per month. Here the Community Spouse Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA) is the factor to be considered. Lastly, one must remember that Medi-Cal assistance is viewed by the government as a loan and not a gift. Therefore, they want their money back after the disabled spouse and well spouse die. There are various methods to increase the amount of assets passing to the children and reducing or eliminating what reimbursement Medi-Cal obtains. (See my article “Irrevocable Trust Can Avoid Medi-Cal Reimbursement Claim”  and QMap Trust and Medi-Cal)




Medi-Cal Community Spouse Resource Allowance 
(see below for definition)
Medi-Cal Community Spouse Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (see below for definition)
1997 $79,020 $1,976
1998 80,760 2,019
1999 81,960 2,049
2000 84,120 2,103
2001 87,000 2,175
2002 89,280 2,232
2004 92,760
2005  95,100
2006 99,540 2,489
2007 101,640 2,541
2008 104,400 2,610
2009 109,560 2,739
2010 109,560 2,739
2011 109,560 2,739
2012 113,640 2,841
2013 115,920 2,898
2014 117,240 2,931
2015 119,220 2,981
2016 119,220 2,981
2017 120,900 3,023
2018 123,600 3,090
2019 126,420 3,161
2020 128,640 3,216
2021 130,380 3,260


Medi-Cal Community Spouse Resource Allowance:
This is the net worth that the well spouse can have when the disabled spouse applies for Medi-Cal assistance. There are various assets which are exempt (not counted) and there are court procedures by which this allowance can be increased. The disabled spouse is entitled to an additional $2,000 of net worth.

Medi-Cal Community Spouse Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance (MMMNA):

This is the income to which the well spouse is entitled while the disabled spouse is receiving Medi-Cal assistance. The disabled spouse is entitled to $35 per month. Whatever income he has above that (unless it is exempt income) must be paid toward the nursing home cost (LTC). Medi-Cal pays the excess. If the well spouse’s income is below the MMMNA, then as much of the disabled spouse’s income as is necessary can be allocated to the well spouse to bring her up to the MMMNA; thereby causing less of the disabled spouse’s income to be paid to the nursing home, obtaining a larger monthly contribution from Medi-Cal, and saving more of the family income for the well spouse.

Let’s use as an example the disabled spouse with an income (let’s say social security and pension) of $1035 and the well spouse with an income of $1000. Ignoring the MMMNA, the disabled spouse would have to pay $1000 toward LTC. So the well spouse would have the $35 left from the disabled spouse’s income plus her own $1000 to live on. However, under the MMMNA provision, the well spouse comes out far better. Using the 1998 numbers for our example, she would be short of the MMMNA by $1019 (2019-1000 = 1019). So that amount would be allocated to the well spouse from the disabled spouse’s income leaving the disabled spouse with $6 (1035-1019 = 6). Since the disabled spouse is entitled to up to $35, no family income would need to be paid to LTC and Medi-Cal would pay the entire monthly amount.

Certain types of income are exempt, some is automatically allocated to the well spouse, and there are court procedures by which the MMMNA can be increased.

Last updated 03/09/19

About Living Trusts

About Living Trusts is hosted by the Law Offices of Merwyn J. Miller, as your online resource center to help you explore these key issues, and others, regarding your estate.

Merwyn J. Miller, J.D.

  • Board Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
  • Co-Author of legal text book and of “Don’t Go Broke in a Nursing Home
  • Teacher of law courses at public and private colleges
  • Continuing Education Instructor for attorneys
  • Columnist for largest regional newspaper in San Diego County and professional journals for 15 years, Contributing author to the book “In Your Service: The Veteran’s Friend”
  • Masters Degree in Financial Services - Estate Planning

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