An Ohio appeals court holds that a Medicaid applicant who did not provide verification of her mortgage balance is not entitled to benefits even though the original mortgage value was higher than the home’s current value. Poindexter v. Ohio Dept. of Job and Family Servs. (Ohio Ct. App., 5th Dist., No. 2020 CA 00005, August 11, 2020).
Lucille Poindexter bought a home with a mortgage of $48,023. She entered a nursing home and applied for Medicaid. The value of her home at that time was $36,900. The state requested that Ms. Poindexter verify her current mortgage balance. The request form stated that if Ms. Poindexter was having trouble, she should contact the Medicaid agency for help. The agency contacted her a second time, but Ms. Poindexter did not submit the verification or request assistance.
The state denied her application for benefits. Ms. Poindexter appealed to the court, and the trial court affirmed. Ms. Poindexter appealed, arguing that the evidence showed that she had a mortgage of $48,023, while the house’s value was only $36,900, so her home should not be a countable resource. She also argued that the court improperly placed the burden on her to provide evidence of the mortgage, rather than placing the burden on the Medicaid agency.
The Ohio Court of Appeals, Fifth District, affirms, holding that the state properly denied benefits. According to the court, Ms. Poindexter presented no evidence “demonstrating what the balance of the mortgage was as of the time of the application, and thus the agency could not determine the value of the property as of the time of her request for Medicaid assistance.” The court also noted that Ms. Poindexter had the ability to request assistance in obtaining the information, but she did not do that.