My question is related to the use of Social Security benefits and how they are to be used.

I’ve recently discovered that my brother has been taking money out of my moms account, the one specifically set up for her social security deposit.
At the time my mom was admitted into the hospital she had a larger balance in her SS account. I was aware she used this money to pay her bills and give my brother money as she lived with him. In my opinion, it didn’t matter as long as she was managing the account and kept hold of the ATM card specifically for that account.
The day my mom was admitted into the hospital my brother withdrew more than half the amount in the account. I didn’t really think much about it, that he needed to prepare for her to return to his home for hospice. But in the hospital we agreed home hospice would be best and it was my understanding (I’m checking on this) that her social security would be relinquished to pay for hospice care. We are now 3 months into hospice and that account has a zero balance days after SS has been deposited. I have been understanding that my mom requires care and I’m certain my brother feels he is owed this money as he is primary caregiver.
My question is, is it legal for him to take the social security money if he is not using it toward her expenses and paying her bills? I noticed unpaid insurance premiums and hospital bills, which it was my assumption the money in her SS account should be used to pay. Her day to day costs are minimal as she barely eats any food, simply soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, milk, sprite and water. Her meds and any medical equipment are paid by hospice.
Both he and I have POA equally. And while my belief is whatever money she has needs to be used toward paying her bills, then for funeral expenses, whatever is left (if any) can be split equally. He is trying to coerce me into giving him half of what is in her bank account now, not understanding that we will need to pay for the funeral expenses up front and the death benefit from her life insurance will come later.
Is my understanding wrong? As I look at it he is stealing her social security from her as he is not using it to pay her bills or for her care.

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I think this can fall under elder abuse. My understanding is that he can be in big trouble for converting her money to his own use even though he has a poa.
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Hospice is covered by Medicare, fully covered. As for the unpaid bills, legally some states allow the debt holder to go after the POA for misappropriation. Since there are two of you, you may both be sued. That's right, his errors will land YOU in trouble. So report the theft to cover your own axx. NOW.
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If she has given him access to her funds, there is nothing you can do. As her POA, even though her money should be used for her needs and if he chooses not to, it is not illegal. That would be a family issue. You need to check him before he screws up all her finances. Who is her rep payee with Social Security? If her life insurance policy lapses and is cancelled...who is going to bury her? Something doesn't sound right with this situation. Good luck, take care and God bless.
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If she is already in hospice and not on Medicaid, chances are she will not need that so the penalty for "gifting" is a non issue.
Most peoples SS is not huge, so if a good portion of that goes to contribute to the home where she resides, that is not unusual. Certainly her bills need to be paid first. The right way to be compensated is to be transparent and to have an agreement. If bro has been a good caregiver, and mom is near the end and it sounds like she is already in hospice which is paid by Medicare, then try not to be too accusatory. Maybe bro needs help.
This caregiving gig is more than most sign up for, physically, financially and emotionally.
Is it life insurance he did not pay? Assuming you both are beneficiaries, why would someone not pay that if they were planning a money grab?

You are about to lose your mom. Money aside, bro sounds like a decent guy, if he was willing to be primary caregiver. Don't lose him too, maybe offer to give him a bigger percentage of the final sum. I suggest this from the heart, it is what I would do.
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