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My Mom has just been diagnosed with Alzheimers. I am so out of my element, as I was not expecting to have to deal with these decisions for a couple more decades since I am only 27. I have no siblings and my Dad has already passed away. My mom is not old enough for SSI, so I am wondering if it would be better to apply for Disability Income and Medicare insurance for her? Or should I make her a dependent on my own taxes and health insurance? How would I even declare her a Dependent when she is not my child and does not live with me? Will she even qualify for Disability if I have her withdraw from her retirement accounts, where she has managed to build up over $1M? Are these questions I should ask a Lawyer or a Financial Advisor? I have no idea where to even start with all of this.

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As someone explained to me on this forum SS disability is not based on income. It would not hurt to talk to a Social Security lawyer. He would be the one to help you apply. Mom will get Medicare with this.

How old is Mom? If she is a widow, she can collect SS at 60, 62 at 75%. For her to be a dependent on your income taxes you must be paying for 50% or more of her care.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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You are quite confused and using some terms incorrectly. SSI is not Social Security Income...it means Supplemental Security Income. SSI is for poor people (old, blind or disabled) and a person with a million dollars in assets does not qualify. Social Security is an earned benefit that has no interest in your assets or other income. If she claims Social Security early based on disability go for it. Or just wait till she's old enough to get Social Security retirement benefits. Medicare kicks in at age 65 OR if someone has been on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) for 24 months. Doesn't she already have medical insurance? Definitely get good legal and financial advice because you are going to need it
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Reply to vegaslady
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She has enough assets to pay privatly. If she is under 65 then she can apply for disability and Medical insurance depending on her current low income, even with assets. If she is 62, she can apply at a lower payment. Keep in mind that early onset dementia tends to have deterioration more rapidly than an older person so waiting to 100% may be moot.

Remember she has a lot of assets. You can get her into a nice memory care where she should not be bored if she did nothing at home. And at 27 you need to work to build your own financial security.The problem is if you can get her to sign documents making you POA. A good elder attorney can assess the client if it is still possible or if you need guardianship/ conservatorship.. Bring all documents with you including her retirement statements. Each state has different laws.
Do not make her a dependent. Someone will be able to post the reasons. You can find a certified elder attorney in your area www.naela.org or www.nelf.org
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Reply to MACinCT
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These are questions for an Elder Law attorney who can help guide you. You'll eventually need to discuss her finances and financial strategies with a financial advisor but that can come once you've gotten some advice on the legal issues and powers of attorneys, guardianship, etc. Don't do anything without some guidance from an expert because those decisions could have consequences both for you and for your mom. It's good that she currently has resources to pay for care right now so you have some time to figure things out. But, your first step needs to be to interview a couple of Elder Law attorneys and establish a good relationship because this is going to be a long road for you both. So sorry.
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