Daily hospital insurance benefit. Am I entitled to keep it?

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At the end of March my mother will become a long-term resident in a nursing home paid for by medicaid. She is currently receiving rehab services for which she is eligible for up to 20 days to receive $57/day through AARP insurance. She has no assets of her own. It seems that the nursing homes wants to keep any money possible. I need to ask them for a letter to send to the AARP re: her rehab days so they would know about this policy. I need this money because I haven't worked for 3 months taking care of her and have had to many expenses. Am I entitled to this money?

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You are not entitled to her money.

It is her benefit and the $ needs to be spent on her or her care. 57 X 20 is $ 1,140 and I wouldn't be surprised if mom gets a 1099 - Miscellaneous Income on it for 2013 taxes. The $ will be traceable and you don't want to do anything that will cause a transfer penalty for Medicaid not to pay her NH stay.

All this being said, the $ 1,140 does not have to go to the NH, mom can have this in her bank account. The NH isn't expecting the AARP $. The NH is expecting to get as payment whatever "income" mom gets - like her SS check or any retirement. All of her income gets paid to the NH, except for whatever mom's state has as her personal needs allowance. The PNA is small and runs $ 30 - 90 a month (amount depends on each state)

Under Medicaid rules they are allowed to have about 2K in assets in most states and still be eligible for Medicaid. The actual amount can vary state by state. If she does not have a prepaid funeral or burial policy, that would be a good thing to spend this money on and while you are not under the pressure and emotion of their death. If she needs dental work or new glasses, that would be other things to spend her money on as Medicaid does not pay for these items. If she needs new clothes or shoes or other personal needs stuff @ the NH, these would be good to spend the $ on. Medicaid does not pay for everything. The NH laundry is super hot & hard and their clothes have to get replaced, so spend it now or spend it later on her needs. But don't spend it on yourself.
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