Mulder v. South Dakota Department of Social Services
South Dakota Supreme Court
2004 S.D. 10, 675 N.W.2d 212 (2004)
Ervin Mulder (plaintiff) received Medicaid long-term care benefits through the South Dakota Department of Social Services (DSS) (defendant). Mulder’s sole income was his social security benefits, from which his monthly alimony obligation was deducted. DSS considered the money Mulder paid in alimony as part of his available income and set his Medicaid benefits amount accordingly, leaving Mulder unable to cover the full monthly cost for his long-term care facility. Mulder challenged the benefits calculation. After a hearing, DSS upheld its initial benefits determination. DSS argued that the money Mulder paid in alimony should be considered part of his available income because (1) the South Dakota Medicaid statute did not specifically exclude money used for alimony payments from available income; (2) the South Dakota Medicaid eligibility requirements referenced the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility requirements to determine available income; and (3) SSI counted the money used for alimony payments as part of available income for SSI eligibility determinations. Mulder appealed to federal court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Sabers, J.)
Dissent (Zinter, J.)
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