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We built a mother in law quarters on to our home. Full 1 BR 1 Bath apartment with Kitchen, Living room, washer/dryer, heating and cooling unit. All utilities are tied to ours and we pay them. Mom has no assets and only gets $426 a month social security. She also only gets $100 in food stamps. I heard of others that get housing and utility money if the live in government housing or rent from a landlord. How can we get assistance since we are incurring these expenses, utilities and basic living needs that are not covered by food stamps and it has been creating a hardship on our finances. I am told to put the utilities in my moms name but I feel we should just charge a basic rent that included these cost and that should be covered.
Ironically we were told if she was homeless she would get housing food and utilities.
We love having my mom with us, we just can not afford to cover all the expenses.

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You have been given some excellent good suggestions to look into.

I'm going to approach this a bit differently since you mention " a financial crisis". If you mean a true crisis & you cannot pay for your own house costs & your own living expenses due to mom & the apt and you & hubs face utility shut off & property going up for tax sale sort of crisis looming, then IMHO you need to rethink moms living in the apt & your subsidizing her.

Usually if an MlL apt is done with full kitchen, it increases property taxes significantly & has to have its own insurance coverage as well. It's the short of issues, folks don't factor in when don't this.....and comes as an unaffordable surprise. Where I live (New Orleans area), folks rebuilt after hurricane Katrina and now are finding that their old insurance (homeowners, flood, windstorm) which ran 1K annually is now 5K - 15K annually and they literally cannot afford to live in the house and are forced to sell or be creative. By creative, they rent the house out either long-term or seasonable for those homes closer to the water and move in with family. You can rent the apt & use the rental income to rebuild your own funds. Mom moves in with you or mom moves into a facility or Section 8 apt & she will qualify for Medicaid& subsidized housing as she is low income.

What you don't want to do is spend to the point that is jeapordizes your & hubs financial future. It may just be that very hard & harsh decisions have to be made by you & hubs regarding where mom lives in 2016. Good luck in all this.
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Another idea if you want a small seasonal job for winter try H &R Block i worked 11 tax seasons for them jan-april in front office.
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momcare, how long were your mother and father married? If it was over 10 years, she is entitled to half of his SS income and vise versa. She is also entitled to half of any other government money he might have. I know that it is an aggressive option, but one you may want to consider.

I think the idea of disability is a good one. Your mother didn't ask to have the bipolar disorder, but it happened. There may be help for her. I know the application may be late, given that she may have qualified for a long time. Ask someone at the Dept of Aging what they think whenever you talk to them. Living on such a small amount of money is a strain, I know. I am glad that you are there for her, but I know it is a hardship on your finances.
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Thank you, my husband works a second job and I pick up a small seasonal job in the summer. We understand that it is what we need to do. We are going to reach out to the department of aging and see what we can find out. Thanks again.
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You might try calling the Area Agency on aging and ask if there are any programs that help low income people with utilities. My thought is if her apt is on different meters and you put them in her name she may be able to get help with the bills. I would check on programs first before going through the trouble of making a switch. I dont think medicaid will help since she does not need personal care right now. You did a wonderful thing making provision for mom and I understand when finances are strained its hard. I dont know how you feel about this but think outside the box, with the internet there are ways to make extra income. Try sites like ebay or etsy, you can sell anything online these days and could pick up couple hundred dollars with very little time invested.
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Thank you everyone for your responses, Mom is divorced, she has Medicaid and on most days can do well on her own, she has Bipolar. She has been under Dr. care for 20 years. Some say we should have got her on disability, but we weren't aware of this option and my parents were covering the cost at the time until their divorce. She spends her money on basic needs. The food stamps average $3.33 a day so her SS $426 covers food and necessities. Paper products, toiletries and detergent. There were many days she eats egg sandwiches and grilled cheese and she doesn't tell me.

She has no extra even for clothes. There is no additional monetary resources for her. We did not have my mom live with us to gain income. With her illness and looking ahead we felt it would be better to have her with us so I could watch over her in times she isn't doing as well. I also take her to all appointments too. We were only looking at covering the additional increases in the utilities, taxes and possibly a little extra spending money for her. We were told because we have her live with us, we are considered a resource and she will not get much because she doesn't need anything.
But us paying for the additional expenses is putting us in a financial crisis.
I feel it is a challenging system to those in need and have a little help from family.
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Does your mom require assistance with things like bathing dressing food shopping? Or is she totally independant? Is she on medicaid? Answers to these questions could help us give you better advice.
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momcare2015, to add the in-law suite was your choice, thus you are responsible for what it cost to maintain. Too bad you and your family didn't discuss said cost prior to breaking ground. When it comes to sell your home, you will benefit from the higher sale's price having an in-law or nanny suite attached to your home.

There are senior citizen apartments that are geared toward how much income a senior has, thus the rents are low. These apartments are basic, chances are the washer/dryer is in the basement and coin operated.... and the heat & A/C are controlled by the building, not individual thermostats. These seniors are folks who usually have no one to help them, they are on their own. Your Mom is lucky to have your family to help her.

As other's above had mentioned, have your Mom use part of her social security to help pay for her utilities and her share of he higher property tax.
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Your mother may feel good about it if you let her use her SS money to cover some of the utilities. I know it will cost more than $100 for food, but she should still have a couple of hundred left over to apply toward her living costs. That will help some. Other than that, I don't know any other way you could find money.

Is she receiving your father's SS money? Is your father deceased or are they divorced? Such a small SS check is unusual for a widowed woman.
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What Is mom doing with her $ 426 a mo in SS?

Does she have any savings or other assets?

Where was she living before the on your property MIL apt?
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I'm a bit confused. There's a need for various things such as assistance with monthly costs, utilities, etc., but the funds apparently existed to add the MiL quarters, which I would think would be far more than the maintenance costs. How was this addition funded?

What plans were made to address the division of costs before the addition was made? Without being critical, it seems as though some of the cost splitting issues weren't really addressed or a financial plan had been worked out.

I think the issue of assistance is going to be a murky one b/c the area in which your mother is living is apparently your house, not hers. If she had been living on her own, she might have been able to get Sec. 8 housing assistance as well as assistance with her utilities. But the fact that she's living in her DIL and son's house complicates the issue. I don't really know if any assistance might be available now that she's living in your house, but perhaps others more knowledgable will share their insights.
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