One question that we are frequently asked is, "What is a Miller Trust and do I need one?" This article was written by Attorney Lindsay Blessinger Charles and it ran in the Evansville Courier and Press in 2018. Check out the article to learn more about Miller Trusts.
In 2014, the State of Indiana adopted the Social Security Administration income guidelines with respect to income levels and qualification for Medicaid services for nursing home and waiver recipients.
For 2019, individuals who reside in nursing homes and receive $2,313.00 or more per month in gross income must establish a Miller Trust in order to be eligible for Medicaid.
A Miller Trust can be established by the nursing home resident/waiver recipient, the legal guardian, a Power of Attorney, or the Authorized Representative.
There are 4 requirements for a Miller Trust to be valid in Indiana. It must be irrevocable; the State of Indiana must be listed as the primary beneficiary when the recipient dies to be repaid up to the total amount of Medicaid payments made on his/her behalf; only income may be deposited into the Miller Trust; and the Miller Trust must be properly executed with the appropriate signatures.
Once the Miller Trust has been signed, it must be taken to a bank or credit union to establish a new bank account. Each month, income exceeding $2,313.00 must be placed into the Miller Trust bank or credit union account. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration will request verification that money was transferred to the Miller Trust each month and failure to do so will terminate Medicaid for the recipient for the months of non-compliance.
The funds in a Miller Trust can only be used for a monthly personal needs allowance, monthly maintenance needs allowance to a community spouse, and medical expenses.
Since a Miller Trust is a legal document, it is wise to contact an elder law attorney to determine whether a Miller Trust is necessary for your situation and for advice on how to properly establish a Miller Trust.