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I moved from south Carolina 6 yrars ago to take care of her. I had to quit my job here in Louisville ky to take care of her. We were surviving on her ss check. My question is can I keep paying for utilities and other essentials from her checking account? I have an 8 ur old son also. I don't want to cause more headaches for myself then I've already had. It's been a real experience caring for my mom!

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Carolina - ASAP & this week make an elder law atty appointment for mom & you as her DPOA.

You have got to get atop her costs and responsibility for payment clarified ASAP.

To me question número uno is how will she pay for her NH stay?
If its right now Medicare as she was hospitalized and discharged to a NH for rehab (a Medicare benefit), then mom has maybe 21 days Medicare @ 100% and then at 80% if she's " progressing". You have a window to figure out with attys input as how to deal with paying NH once medicare stops.

But if there's no Medicare "bridging" for being in a NH, mom will either have to:
- private pay for care from her assets & income
or
- apply for Medicaid. If Medicaid, all of moms $ has to be spent down to 2k in assets & whatever income she gets monthly will be required to be paid to the NH as her copay or SOC (share of cost). All mom will have once on Medicaid will be a small personal needs allowance. pNA varies by state from $38 (Louisiana) to $115 (Minnesota). That's it. There can be no more moms SS $ to pay for what is now essentally your housing costs. If mom owns her home you as dpoa could seek to have a waiver for a few months (maybe up to 6 mos) to pay mortgage but waiver seems to vary by state and will need a binding MLS Realtor agreement that property is up for sale. State may want you paying rent and you may need to file a caregiver exemption to get around this. The states tend to regard family caregiving as done for free with no compensation and as a sense of family duty ..... & If you left a paying job to caregive, that was your choice. Totally harsh. 

or mom moves out of NH & back with you. Her SS income follows her back. If you & your child are dependent on moms $ to have a roof over your heads, moving her back home for period of time while you get your finances & hers figured out maybe your only option. It's a harsh reality. The financial protections that exist for spouses within Medicaid LTC rules are not there for relatives. You would have to be an existing dependent of your mom (like you are disabled and mom even though up in age still took care of you) to get around any of this.

None of this is a DIY project, much less for someone with a kid in elementary school and on summer break. You need an atty for moms situation. Also id suggest to see ASAP what summer feeding programs are out there for your kid & get him signed up this week. IF they need volunteers, maybe do that as the helpers get fed as well. If you haven't had to deal with single mom poverty issues, as your life has revolved around caregiving mom, summer feeding programs are good to get involved in as you'll network with others in your same situation. Good luck
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Her funds are for her needs only.

However, if you think that you have suffered financially, by an agreement that you had with her or her POA, I'd consult with an attorney to see what your legal rights are. See if you are viewed as a tenant and have those rights or if you have any damages that you may recover for.
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No, you are using her money for yourself and she is in a nursing home. If she ever needs medicaid, they will do a 5 year search back on her finances and will see that you took that money out for yourself. Plus, even if you are her POA, that does not authorize you to use her money unless you are a co-owner of the account. Who is paying for her to be in a nursing home?
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