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I lived with my mother 24 hours per day with 1 hour respite each day from Personal Support Workers.
I have asked my sister, who is my mother's Power of Attorney, to help me, but she refuses to give me any compensation, saying I should be ashamed to ask to be paid for having taken care of my mother. I did not ask to be paid during the time period because I was afraid my sister would say exactly what she is now saying, I am on government assistance, and could definitely use the funds, but regardless of my financial situation, should I not be compensated for the work I did?

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You speak of your sister as mom's poa so your mother is still alive, what does she say, is she still mentally competent? If mom wishes she could make a change to her Will to leave you some compensation for your years of service. If that is no longer possible or there will be no money left then I think you are out of luck. Sorry.
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Your mother's POA cannot just pay you or she would be in big trouble for misdirecting funds. Without a care contract put in place at the time the care is given, no retro pay. Any lump sum you got would interrupt your government assistance, since you have to declare the income. Sorry.
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