Is there a cap for bills paid out of pocket?

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If Mom is living in her own house, with an existing mortgage, can she continue to pay bills at the same rate, such as mortgage?? She will need help paying for home-care a few hours a day when all her savings is gone. However, her monthly lifetime benefits (SS and retirement acct) are currently paying for supplemental insurance, mortgage, utilities, food etc. Will she have to live in a cheaper place to be eligible for Medicaid so they can use more of her income to pay for services? Her mortgage is about $1000/mo. What if it was $20,000/mo? If she spends it each month, she will still be below the $2,000 limit, right?

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A person in a nursing home or assisted living facility who qualifies for Medicaid must pay over almost all of their income to the facility and may not continue to pay the mortgage on their house out of their income. If the person receiving HCBS (Medicaid for at-home residents) has income less than $2,094 (for year 2012) they can retain that income; if their income is over that, it typically must be spent down on medical expenses or held in a special Qualified Income Trust, depending on the state Medicaid rules.
Thank you so much for the response! Just to see if I understand what you're saying......? Mom's lifetime of invested savings will be going to pay down the principal on our (Joint Tenants) house, which we will refinance, so I can afford the monthly payments on my own.

She will continue to receive $2500/mo the rest of her life from SS and PERS (CA retirment system). Am I correct that, if/when she is accepted on Medicaid, she can spend $1999 per month, every month, on whatever she wants (such as mortgage and utilities), as long as she continues to live at home?

I assume the remaining $500/mo will go to pay for whatever medical care is not already covered by Medicare and her supplemental insurance. In this case, the care she needs help paying for is Home Care as long as she is living at home.

I also assume the entire $2500/mo goes with her when she has to move to an Adult Family Home, Assisted Living or a Nursing Home.

Am I on the right track? Again, thank you. I never seem to have the right questions ready when meeting with the lawyer, so don't get the answers I need.
My sister is in a nursing home in Virginia. She is a renter and has just paid to vacate her apt. (2 mos. rent), is hiring a mover and will buy storage boxes, etc. Will that count to pay down assets? Also will be paying nursing home the rest. Does all this count toward paying down assets?

So, are rent for two months to vacate apt, moving expenses, attorney fees (consultation and Power of Attorney) considered to be for the Medicaid applicant's benefit?

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