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Wisconsin Medicaid Estate Recovery Program - Waiver of Claim Due to Hardship

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Waiver of Claim Due to Hardship

Are there any exemptions if recovery would cause a hardship to an heir or beneficiary?

The Department of Health Services has set standards in DHS 108.02(12), Wis. Admin. Code, for determining whether the state’s recovery would result in an undue hardship for an heir or beneficiary. An heir or beneficiary may apply for a waiver of the state’s claim on their portion of the estate for one of the following reasons:

  • The heir or beneficiary would become or remain eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI), food stamps (FoodShare program), Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC), or Medicaid, if the Department pursued its claim. (AFDC ended March 31, 1998.) 
  • The deceased’s estate contains real estate used as part of the heir or beneficiary’s business, which may be, but is not limited to, a working farm, and recovery by the Department would affect the property and would result in the heir or beneficiary losing his or her means of a livelihood. 
  • The heir or beneficiary is receiving general relief or veterans benefits based on need under s. 45.40 (1m), Wis. Stats.

The person handling the estate will be notified of these rights and how an heir or beneficiary may apply for a hardship waiver when the estate is being probated through a court or through an affidavit process. That individual is responsible for notifying the heirs and beneficiaries of these rights. An heir or beneficiary can apply to the Department for a waiver of the recovery of his or her portion of the estate.


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