Page Reviewed / Updated – May 16, 2024

Waiver Description

The Mississippi Elderly and Disabled (E&D) Medicaid Waiver program is designed to help low income elderly and / or disabled individuals that require nursing home care but would prefer to remain living at home or in their community instead of in a nursing facility. It does so by providing care services and support to individuals and their primary caregivers. Benefits include services such as adult day care, caregiver respite, home health, and home delivered meals.

Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Waivers, such as this one, are approved to service a specific number of individuals. Once that limit has been reached, a wait list is created.

Eligibility Guidelines

Mississippi’s E&D Waiver considers multiple factors for eligibility purposes. The following is current for the year 2024.

General Requirements

Age & Functional Ability
While this waiver is open to persons 21 years or older, persons 65 or older are subject to a different impairment requirement. Those 21 – 64 years of age must be disabled as designated by Social Security. Those over 64 need not be fully disabled but must need the level of care typically provided in a nursing home.

Financial Requirements

Income Limits
The monthly income limit for a single applicant is $2,829. This amount is equal to 300% of the Federal Benefit Rate (FBR). For married couples, income is considered separately. When both spouses are applying, they are each allowed up to $2,829 in monthly income. If only one spouse is applying, some of the applicant’s income can be transferred to the non-applicant spouse (also referred to as a “community spouse” or “healthy spouse”).

This is called the Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance, or MMNA, and assures the community spouse has enough money to live on. It also effectively lowers the applicant’s income. The maximum monthly allowance for the non-applicant spouse in 2024 is $3,853.50. If the spouse’s income is already at this amount, the monthly transfer is not permitted.

Asset Limits
Single, widowed, or divorced applicants are permitted up to $4,000 in countable assets. Some assets are considered exempt (non-countable), such as the applicant’s home, given the equity is valued under $713,000 and occupied by the owner (or his or her spouse), two vehicles, and other personal belongings, such as furniture, clothing, and household furnishings.

Unlike income, assets of married applicants are considered jointly owned. (Learn more about Medicaid and jointly owned assets here.) Married applicants, with both spouses applying for services, are able to keep up to $6,000 in assets. When only one spouse is applying, the non-applicant spouse is able to retain $154,140 of the couple’s assets. This is called the Community Spouse Resource Allowance. The applicant spouse is still able to keep up to $2,000 in assets.

Over the Financial Limits?

Mississippi residents who exceed the financial limits, but cannot afford their cost of care, are in a difficult position. Mississippi is one of several states that do not offer residents a Medically Needy Medicaid program. The only option for families that find themselves in this situation is to work with a professional Medicaid planner. These individuals can help families qualify for Medicaid by re-organizing their financial holdings, such as creating an income trust, so that the applicant becomes financially compliant with Medicaid limits. Learn more.

Please Note: Transfers of financial assets that took place in the 60 months preceding application are subject to review. This is done to determine if the applicant simply gave away their assets or sold assets under market value in an attempt to meet the asset limit. It is quite common for applicants to have unknowingly violated Medicaid’s “look-back” penalty rules. Medicaid will penalize these persons by delaying the onset of their Medicaid eligibility for months or even years (thereby forcing them to pay for their own care). This is why it is strongly advised that an applicant who wishes to re-allocate their assets consult a Medicaid planner.

Benefits and Services

Each applicant is assessed and approved for different services under the E&D waiver. The following services are potentially available to all beneficiaries. These are selected to maximize the recipient’s ability to live independent of nursing homes. Unlike many waivers, these services are not available to be participant-directed. In other words, the state chooses the care providers, not the participants.

  • Adult Day Services / Adult Day Care (includes transportation to and from the facility)
  • Case Management
  • Expanded Home Health Services – speech and physical therapy, nursing services
  • Home Delivered Meals
  • Personal Care – assistance with routine activities, such as dressing, bathing, and eating, meal preparation, and housecleaning
  • Institutional and In-Home Respite
  • Transition Assistance – from a nursing home facility back into the community

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How to Apply / Learn More

This program, which is administered by the Mississippi Division of Medicaid’s Office of Long Term Care, is available statewide in all Mississippi counties. One can learn more or apply for services from the Elderly and Disabled Waiver by contacting the Division of Medicaid Long Term Care at 800-421-2408.

A brochure on the waiver is available for download here. Additional information can be found on the Mississippi Division of Medicaid website.