In April 2020, NAELA Foundation awarded a grant to MN NAELA to pursue litigation on DHS’ failure to publish administrative decisions under the Fair Hearings.
July 2020 Update: MN NAELA polled membership and found that since their notice to DHS, cases were now available online for both good and bad decisions and as a result, no further action was taken.
In April 2020, NAELA Foundation awarded a grant to MN NAELA for their position that Minnesota must comply with federal spousal impoverishment rules by deeming spousal resources when determining eligibility for long-term care Medicaid. They sought an order that prevents DHS from continuing to act in disregard of Federal Law based on nothing more than an anonymous memo.
Background: Because respondent Esther Schmalz sought long-term-care medical assistance, Renville County Human Services assessed her assets and those of her husband, Marvin Schmalz. As part of the assessment of Marvin’s assets, Renville County Human Services included Marvin’s portion of several non-homestead life estate interests that he and Esther owned. Esther appealed the inclusion of the life estate interests in the assessment of Marvin’s assets, arguing that the life estates should not be included in the total amount of assets that Marvin may retain. The Commissioner adopted the recommendation of the human services judge, which concluded that Renville County Human Services properly denied Esther’s application for medical assistance based on the inclusion of the life estate assets owned by Marvin.
Esther appealed to the district court. The district court agreed with Esther that the non-homestead life estates should not be included in Marvin’s assets, holding that the term “individual” in Minn. Stat. § 256B.056, subd. 4a (2018), included Marvin. The Commissioner appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed the district court order.
Outcome: On June 24th, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals. Click here for the full decision