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Asset Limits for HCBS Waivers Raised
November 12, 2003

The following information is from David Gates of the PA Health Law Project

Persons with disabilities seeking home and community based services (HCBS) through one of the Department of Public Welfare's (DPW’s) waivers must meet certain eligibility requirements. One of those eligibility requirements was not having over $2000 in certain assets (basically things you own that can be sold or turned in for cash such as bank accounts but excluding your home and vehicle). DPW has just raised the asset limit for the HCBS waivers to $8000. This means that people applying for a slot in one of DPW’s home and community based service waivers can now have up to $8000 in assets (also called resources). Furthermore, persons who are already on one of the waivers, can now save money up to $8000.

This increased asset (resource) limit is effective now. It applies to the Attendant Care waiver, the Independence waiver, the “OBRA” CSPPPD waiver, the COMMCARE waiver, the Consolidated MR waiver, the P/FDS MR waiver, the Michael Dallas waiver, and the PDA aging waiver.

In addition, some lower income nursing home residents (“categorically needy”) will also be able to keep up to $8000 in assets. This was done, according to DPW’s Operations Memorandum, to enable “those in an institutional setting to have sufficient resources to maintain or establish residency in the community.” The increase in the asset limit was effective October 31.

DPW has also decided to exempt all burial plots in determining financial eligibility for anyone on or applying for any type of home and community based service waiver or regular Medical Assistance. This change is also effective October 31.

These changes were announced in DPW Operations Memorandum OPS031102 dated November 4.

David Gates
PA Health Law Project
101 S. 2nd St., Suite 5
Harrisburg, PA 17101

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