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DECISIONS a class of medically needy caretaker relatives, who were eligible for Medicaid before the welfare reform bill of 1996 was enacted, are entitled to a preliminary injunction prohibiting the application of the new statute that denies them Medicaid benefits, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 17. Kai v. Ross, No. 02-1721. Two plaintiffs, one suffering from schizophrenia, the other from depression and diabetes, represent a class of 10,000 single mothers and caretakers who were once eligible for Medicaid benefits in Nebraska before welfare reform. Their eligibility was determined by an interpretation of the income rules, not under the Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program. The 1996 welfare reform act grandfathered in Medicaid coverage for people under AFDC, but did not specifically mention other caretaker-recipients. The district court denied the class’s request for a preliminary injunction. The 8th Circuit reversed, and recommended that the district court proceed to the merits quickly. It noted that the provision of the welfare reform bill extending benefits also applied to recipients made eligible through “income and resource methodologies” less restrictive than a state’s calculation of AFDC benefits.

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