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I recently admitted my Mom into a nursing home.
GP--riverhead

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Medicaid has many of their own applications forms. You can only fill out forms to benefit your mom if your are her POA. (Someone else may correct me here please). Be sure you completely READ and understand any form you sign -- don't hesitate to ask for extra time "I need to have my attorney look at these forms before I sign". Best wishes.
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Are you saying that no one gets approved by Medicaid if they fill out their own application? We have to hire an attorney? I am a paralegal, but this is not my expertise, but what is so complicated that I can't do this myself for home healthcare for my Mother.
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Just another thought about signing forms. If you have a good camera on your phone, I wold take a photo of every page I signed. Doesnt hurt to keep a copy of what you signed and how you signed it (especially if you modified it by crossing out lines or omitting checking a box). Don't trust them to give you a copy in the mail......
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Judge nursing homes on their own merits. There are good and bad non-profit homes as there are for-profit homes. Don't confuse the term "non-profit" with the idea of charity. All charitable institutions are non-profit, but not all non-profits are charitable institutions.
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How one signs paperwork is very important--those are some good suggestions; as well as making sure to NOT sign blank forms--that's like writing a blank check to the facility. Some of those are known to try to coerce you to sign blank forms---before you sign, READ it, and put a line or cross-out portions you do not agree to.
IF you are coerced, or feel pressured, to sign papers, you can also add by your signature: "Signed under duress in order to get proper care for my elder".
IF it comes to legal maneuvers, that will clearly tell a judge or lawyer that you were pressured into signing, in order to obtain proper care for your elder.

Elsewhere on this site, others have posted at length about how State recouping their care/support expenses for an elder, differ some from State to State,
but often, they DO try to pursue immediate family for repayment of supports State paid out on an elder, regardless of whether it was done in a facility or at home.
Check with your Welfare office.

These days, Welfare has separated from the Medicaid department, but either the Medicaid dept. or the welfare dept., should be able to answer directly, the questions about whether your State goes after family to repay State for your elder's care.

Keep in mind:
The State wants to avoid causing more people to be welfare recipients by being forced to repay their elder's care-debt to the State--that would cost the state more money in the long run.
OTH, if family has assets they can use to repay the State, without impoverishing them, the State will likely expect to be repaid by that family.
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Watch what paperwork you sign. Do not sign anything making you responsible for any of her medical care. That is not your responsibility. It maybe worded Guarantee of Account. The nursing home has a medicaid specialist that should guide you through the process. It is a long and difficult procedure going through all her banking, assets etc for the last 5 years. I just went through it with my husband. He's out now but out of a $50,000.bill, his responsibility was $500.00. Just remember they cannot refuse her care, do not sign anything to do with money.
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Legally responsible for what? Is she in the Home? If she is, then you had better check your paperwork and and above all......signatures.
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I think I would start by going to Medicare.gov and type in nursing homes to pull up some for your area and see ratings.
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Virginia50, I really took note of your statement to be aware of for-profit homes. Would you happen to know how to quickly find non-profits? Everyone else, thanks for de-mystifying things like signing for another. Our lawyer never gave us these nuts and bolts.
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I must disagree with others who have posted. I do not believe you are legally responsible for your mother's bills of any kind no matter what or how you signed, unless perhaps if you expressly signed something saying you would pay the nursing home. Sure, the nursing home may try to get the money from you, but that doesn't mean you have to pay it. If Mom does go on medicaid, they will take her income and assets, so if you want to contact an elder care lawyer to protect as much as you can, go ahead. If she doesn't get medicaid and can't afford to pay [up to $15.000 a month] they will probably want to discharge her, but a nursing home can't just throw someone out into the street. As noted, medicaid is retroactive so there is no reason to pay the nursing home anything now, and it does take up to three months. I assume the nursing home has helped with the process and you've given them all the documentation they need. Give it time -- there probably won't be a problem. Good luck, and sorry your Mom had to go into a home. I know that nowadays the thinking is to keep people at home as long as possible, but sometimes our elderly loved ones really need more care than we can provide, and not everyone has the time or ability and so on to be a caregiver. Feel no guilt. Best of luck.
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I agree with Lizann. I took my mother home from the nursing home that was supposed to wean her off a ventilator, and get her up and walking. They did neither except take her money. Her health has improved 500%. She is now off the ventilator without being weaned. Medicaid will pay for long term home care if you want to go that way. Nursing homes that are for-profit, are the ones to stay away from. They are more concerned about getting as much money as they can get out of the patient. I just took my mother to the ER recently. The ER nurse heard my story, and told me that nursing homes are not great options anymore. She said being at home is the best. I also advise an elder care lawyer or a company that handles Medicaid applications. I had a company handle the medicaid application. One mistake and you will be denied. Also, when you get medicaid, the application needs to be renewed every year.
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First make sure placing Mother is a nursing home is absolutely the only option for her. Consider paying a home health aide to be with her in her home. Make sure you have visited an elder care lawyer, let him advise you on how to use her existing financial assets to best care for her. Medicaid will examine all of her assets and all "gifts" or transfers of her money for the past 5 years (If she is 85 now any financial moves since turning 80 will be questioned). This takes lots of time, meanwhile most nursing homes in this area run $9,000 to $10,000 a month. It will not take long for her to dent or eliminate her life savings. If she does require a nursing home, make the placement, see the lawyer, get busy constructing paperwork to show her assets to the lawyer and let him assist you with the Medicaid application.

Good luck.
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Be-careful when asked by a medical or similar organization. Do Not accept responsibility for bill paying unless you as an individual plan to pay the bills.

The person driving some one to the hospital and signs the documents can get a nasty surprised when they get billed
I refuse to sign and I refuse to sign any form that has blank sections and has not been filled out completely.

Personal experience at ER. The admissions brought me a form to sign and I said please fill this out before I sign. The admissions guru showed up and said I understand you will not sign. I said I complete the form and then I'll sign. She came back with 90% of the form crossed out and the blanks filled,

I found this on TechByter Worldwide. It works for me:) {edited to fit}

I really need to say this: I participate and post for informational purposes only. I assume no responsibility for accuracy. Any actions you take based on my posting information are entirely at your own risk. Products and services are mentioned for informational purposes only and their various trademarks and service marks are the property of their respective owners.
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Sign the principal’s name first, not your own. This eliminates any confusion that you’re acting in your own interests or assuming any personal liability for what you’re signing. The principal is actually the one engaging in the transaction.
Sign your own name after the principal’s name, after including the word “by.” This indicates that the principal is engaging in the transaction through you. For example, you would write, “Sally Smith, by Samuel Smith.”
End the signature by indicating that you’re acting under power of attorney. You can do this in one of several ways. After your name, you can write in the words “agent,” “attorney in fact,” “power of attorney” or simply, “POA.” Your final signature should read similar to "Sally Smith, by Samuel Smith, power of attorney."
Direction from a different source

It is also good form for the attorney-in-fact to write the principal’s name the same way it appears in the document. For example, if the document names Sally E. Smith as the signer and John Doe is signing under a power of attorney for Sally, then ideally John would write, John Doe, Attorney-in-Fact for Sally E. Smith, or Sally E. Smith by John Doe, Attorney-in-Fact, or Sally E. Smith by John Doe, Power of Attorney.--\


Then there is this very different I instruction

If you have been named as “Attorney in Fact” by the Grantor of a Power of Attorney, you should sign YOUR OWN NAME, followed by the words “Power of Attorney.”
Do NOT sign the Grantor’s name EVER.
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+1 on what "Pam" said....also, in our case, several years ago, the first application was denied for some reason, at the end of the 45 day application process window....then we reapplied after fixing the "error" or whatever, and the approval came in another 45 days and was retroactive money-wise, all the way back to the date of the first application. During the application period we paid the monthly fee and then the nursing home gave all that back once she was approved..
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Only if you signed her in without writing "POA" or "Guardian" on the admitting papers after your signature. Read everything you signed. Medicaid applications take a long time and Medicaid will want 5 years of financial records for her. Start digging them out.
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