Glossary: MA-EPD

For the purposes of benefits eligibility, an American Indian is a person who is recognized as an American Indian by a federally recognized tribe, or is recognized by the United States as an Indian and has a Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) from the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

The federally recognized tribes in Minnesota are:

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa
  • Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa
  • Grand Portage Band of Chippewa
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe
  • Lower Sioux Indian Community in the State of Minnesota
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
  • Prairie Island Indian Community in the State of Minnesota
  • Red Lake Band of Chippewa
  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community of Minnesota
  • Upper Sioux Community
  • White Earth Band of Ojibwe

Americans Indians:

The following are excluded (not counted) when figuring out countable assets for MA-EPD:

  • The home you live in.
  • The car you drive to work.
  • Income in the month of receipt.
  • Household and personal goods including pets, furniture, clothing, jewelry, appliances, other tools and equipment used in the home.
  • Retirement accounts such as IRAs, 401Ks, and 403Bs.
  • Medical expense accounts set up through an employer.
  • Your spouse’s assets or your spouse's share of jointly held assets.

The following payments may also be excluded:

  • Payments made to people because of their status as victims of Nazi persecution. This includes reparation payments the Federal Republic of Germany makes to certain survivors of the Holocaust.
  • Payments resulting from an appeal of public assistance benefits.
  • Payments made under state or federal law for foster care and adoption assistance.
  • Disaster relief funds paid by state and local governments and disaster relief organizations such as Red Cross and Salvation Army.
  • State and federal tax rebates.
  • Netherlands' Act (WUV) payments.
  • Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) payments.
  • Payments for tribal land claim settlements listed in Tribal Land Settlements and Trusts.
  • Benefits from the Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) nutrition program.
  • Reimbursements from the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policy Act of 1970.
  • Payments received from youth incentive entitlement projects and youth community conservation and improvement projects.
  • Reparation payments to Aleut people and people of Japanese ancestry under Public Law 100 383.
  • Agent Orange payments to veterans and their dependents.
  • Payments made under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (Public Law 101 426).
  • Payments made by federal agencies under a presidential declaration of disaster including, but not limited to, individual and family grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
  • Title VII, Nutrition Program for the Elderly funds.
  • VISTA payments made to volunteers (not permanent staff salaries).
  • Accrued interest on assets if any excess is properly reduced at the eligibility recertification.
  • Payments from the Vietnamese Commandos Compensation Act.
  • Blood Product Litigation settlement payments.
  • Settlements to hemophiliacs under the Ricky Ray Hemophilia Relief Act of 1998.
  • Payments made to volunteers under the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973.
  • Older Americans Act benefits.
  • Student financial aid should be excluded until the month following the last month of enrollment in classes. This includes funding from Pell Grants, SEOG, Perkins Loans, Student Educational Loan Funds, Guaranteed Student Loans, Minnesota State Student Loans, State Student Incentive Grants, Minnesota State Scholarships and Grants, Federal College Work-Study funds, any other financial aid funded in whole or in part by Title IV, and other educational funds.
  • Funds to replace lost, damaged, or destroyed assets.
  • The accumulation of clothing and personal needs allowance for people in long-term care facilities.
  • Funds used to meet real estate tax, insurance, and upkeep expenses for real property that are held in a separate account.
  • Some retroactive lump sum payments of RSDI and SSI Income.
  • Payments of SSI, RSDI and Special Veterans Benefits for the Elderly due to representative payee misuse.
  • Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds or payments.
  • Child Tax Credit (CTC) refunds or payments.
  • Proceeds from the sale of a homestead for three months if the funds are applied to the purchase of another home during that period.
  • Payments made to crime victims to compensate them for losses resulting from the crime.
  • Austrian social insurance payments based, in whole or in part, on wage credits granted under Paragraphs 500-506 of the Austrian General Social Insurance Act.
  • Volunteer payments under Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Programs, including AmeriCorps (VISTA), University Year for ACTION (UYA), Special and Demonstration Volunteer Programs, Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP), Foster Grandparent Program, Senior Companion Program.
  • Individual Development Account (IDA) - TANF funded.
  • Individual Development Account (IDA).
  • Payments made by the Department of Defense (DOD) to certain individuals who were captured and interned by North Vietnam.
  • VA benefits paid to or on behalf of Vietnam or Korea service veterans’ natural children suffering disability due to spina bifida or other certain birth defects.
  • Self-Support Assets.

For details on these asset exclusions, including the timeframes within which they can be claimed, Chat with a Hub expert.

The maximum amount of assets you're allowed to own while keeping eligibility for a particular disability benefits program.

MA-EPD has a much higher asset limit than disability-based Medical Assistance (MA). If you’re between the ages of 21 and 64, the MA-EPD asset limit is $20,000. If you're under 21 or pregnant, there is no asset limit at all.

Things that you own, like a car or a house. You can only own a certain amount in assets and still qualify for many health care and disability benefit programs. The home you live in and the car you drive to work are exempt under most Social Security and state disability benefit programs. For Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the first $100,000 in an ABLE account is not counted as assets. For Medical Assistance, SNAP (formerly Food Support/Food Stamps), and some other programs, none of the money in an ABLE account is counted.

Also called "resources."

A trained professional who can help you understand disability benefit programs and how they are affected by work. Their goal is to help you avoid financial complications while developing a sustainable plan for the future.

Chat with a Hub expert.

Assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria, U.S. citizens and Qualified Aliens (inlcuding those who meet I-551 or I-94 status) are eligible for both Social Security and state public benefits programs.

Legal residents who don't have I-551 or I-94 status may be eligible for some state programs, but not for Social Security programs. This could include Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), refugees, asylees, conditional entrants, people certified as victims of trafficking, certain people whose immigration status is pending, people under Temporary Protected or Family Unity Beneficiary Status, Lawful Temporary Residents, applicants for asylum, people who have been granted or are applying for withholding of removal, and all other people with a lawfully residing immigrant status.

People who are undocumented or non-immigrants are eligible for fewer programs.

For MA-EPD enrollees or applicants who are 21 or older, your household includes the following people if they are living with you:

  • your spouse (unless he/she is applying for or on MA-EPD)
  • your biological or adopted children, including those who are temporarily absent (e.g., at school)
  • your spouse's biological or adopted children, including those who are temporarily absent (e.g., at school)
  • your unborn children or your spouse's unborn children (if you or your spouse is pregnant).

For MA-EPD enrollees or applicants who are under age 21, your household includes the following people if they are living with you:

  • your biological or adoptive parents
  • your stepparent if your other biological or adoptive parent lives with you
  • your siblings (biological, adopted, or step siblings)
  • your unborn sibling or half-sibling with whom you share a common parent
  • your spouse (unless he/she is applying for or on MA-EPD)
  • your minor children or unborn children if you are pregnant.

Income from work or other sources in the month that you receive it. Minnesota health care programs do not count your income in the month of receipt when determining your assets. So if you receive $2,000 in May from work, that $2,000 is not counted as an asset in May, but may be counted as an asset in June.

A savings account in which your deposits are "matched" at a certain rate. If you have a 2-to-1 match, for example, an additional $2 will be deposited for every $1 that you deposit in your account. IDAs are usually used to save for school, purchasing a home, or starting a business.

Assets you own with someone else. If you own a boat, for example, and the title is in your name and your spouse's name, it's considered a joint asset.

A place where people who need 24-hour skilled nursing can stay. To be admitted into a long-term care facility, you must go through a pre-admission screening to make sure you need this level of care.

There are three types of long-term care facilities:

Some people who live in long-term care facilities may be able to live in the community by getting similar services in their own homes or apartments.

Learn more about long-term care facilities on Housing Benefits 101.

Assets are items of value that people own like bank accounts, stocks and bonds, cars, and real estate. MA-EPD has asset limits, but not everything counts. When answering the asset questions in this Estimator, you should:


...but don’t include

Checking and savings accounts...

...income the month you get it;

...retirement accounts;

...medical expense accounts through an employer;

...retroactive lump sum SSI payments;

...Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

Property you own...

...the home you live in.

Your cars...

...the car you drive to work.

Other assets...

...household and personal goods, like pets, furniture, clothing, jewelry, appliances, and other home tools and equipment;

...Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) refunds or payments;

...Child Tax Credit (CTC) refunds or payments;

...student financial aid such as grants or loans;

...burial space items or a burial fund (up to $1,500).

Stocks and bonds.

There are a number of other assets that MA-EPD doesn’t include. If you have other assets and want to know if MA-EPD counts them, Chat with a Hub expert.

Some people require additional services beyond what's covered under standard Medical Assistance (MA). Minnesota's MA-Waiver Programs are designed to serve these people and provide the services necessary to allow them to live in the community.

Not all people with disabilities will qualify for a MA-Waiver program; each program serves a different target population and has its own set of eligibility criteria. Here are four MA-Waiver programs available to Minnesotans with a disability:

The Community Alternative Care (CAC) Waiver provides services to people who are chronically ill and need the level of care provided in a hospital.

The Community Access for Disability Inclusion (CADI) Waiver serves people with disabilities who need the level of care offered in a nursing facility.

The Developmental Disabilities (DD) Waiver provides services to people with developmental disabilities or related conditions.

The Brain Injury (BI) Waiver provides services to people with brain injuries.

Each of these programs offers a different set of services based on the population it serves. All of these programs offer Personal Care Assistant services, extended home health aide and nursing services, extended homemaker services, medical equipment and supply services, and increased transportation services.

To apply for a MA-Waiver program, contact your county or tribal human services office.

A state-run health care program that pays medical expenses for people who are disabled, young, elderly, poor, or pregnant. If you meet program requirements, MA will help pay for a variety of medical services including visits to the doctor, hospital stays, medical equipment, home care services, and prescription drugs. To apply for MA, visit your county or tribal human services office.

A program that gives Medical Assistance (MA) health coverage to employed people with disabilities. To qualify you must:

MA-EPD covers the same services as standard MA, but lets you have higher income without losing your coverage.

Medicare Savings Programs are programs that help people with low income and low assets pay for their Medicare expenses, such as Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B premiums, coinsurance, and deductibles. There are three Medicare Savings Programs:

  • The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) program helps people with countable income that’s 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (FPG) or less ($1,215 per month or less if you live alone). QMB helps pay for your Part B premium, copayments, and deductibles.
  • The Specified Low-Income Beneficiary (SLMB) program helps people with countable income that’s more than 100% of FPG, but at or below 120% of FPG ($1,458 per month or less if you live alone). SLMB helps pay for the Part B premium, but does not help with anything else.
  • The Qualified Individual (QI) program helps people with countable income that’s more than 120% of FPG, but at or below 135% of FPG ($1,641 per month or less if you live alone). QI-1 helps pay for the Part B premium, but does not help with anything else.

The asset limit for QMB, SLMB, and QI is $10,000 if you live alone and $18,000 if you live with someone else.

A state program that provides a monthly cash benefit to people who are aged, blind or disabled and who get Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Some people who don't get SSI may still be eligible for MSA if their income is low enough and they meet other program criteria.

The MSA benefit you get depends on your living arrangements, the amount you get in SSI (if you get an SSI benefit), and whether or not you have any special needs expenses. The current monthly MSA benefit for many individuals is $81 ($111 for couples). To apply for MSA, visit your county or tribal human services office.

A person currently in the United States who has not attained U.S. citizenship by birth or naturalization. This includes asylees, lawful permanent residents, nonimmigrants, refugees, and undocumented people.

A monthly payment MA-EPD enrollees must make to remain in the program. The amount of the premium depends on the participant's income and household size, with a minimum of $35. There is no maximum premium.

Any document that the state will accept as proof of your identity. Click here for a listing.

Eligibility for a particular program that is granted for months prior to the month of application. Some state health care programs, for example, allow you to begin your health coverage three months prior to the month you apply.

A group within Minnesota's Department of Human Services (DHS) that decides whether or not the state considers you blind or disabled for state benefits programs. SMRT uses a standard process to decide whether people who are not already considered disabled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) meet the state's disability standards.

If you already get benefits from Social Security based on your disability, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), your disability automatically meets the state’s standards and you do not need to be reviewed again by SMRT.

Contact your local county or tribal human services office to request a SMRT review.

A county-run, federal program that helps people with low incomes buy food. Formerly called Food Support (in MN) or Food Stamps.

A person who is:

  • Born in one of the 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Swain’s Island
  • Born outside of the U.S. to at least one parent who is a U.S. citizen
  • Granted citizenship status by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)

When applying for benefits, contact the agency you are applying to to find out what documents are acceptable for proving citizenship.