My mother had a terrible stroke. She was in a nursing home and was released due to insurance not paying for her stay. Can the nursing home legally take her SS check?

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My Mother had a terrible stroke a year ago today. No one has power of attorney over her. I brought her home to my house November 30th, 2017. She gets a Social Security check each month. Today was her date of pay. When I checked her account, the money wasn't there. I called the nursing home and they took her check for this month and last month as well. She has no money and I don't know what to do. I am her care taker. I am unable to work for this reason. Can they legally take her check? Do you have any advice for me?

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Did you change the representative payee info with social security back to you or your mom?
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If she was in the nursing home for a year, why did you take her home? She most likely was on Medicade since the 100 days max allowance to stay would have passed. Did anyone at the home give you advice about repercussions?
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If you have no job (and no money) because you are her caregiver, go to the Social Services office and see if you both would qualify for welfare, food stamps, etc. Check out the food pantry is in your area. Also local churches may be able to help with a one time donation.

Also, check to see if you can apply to be her caregiver through  IHSS (In Home Support Services). It's state funded.  You would apply to be her caregiver and be paid minimum wage salary for the amount of hours she qualifies for.

You could also go to your city's Senior Center and ask for a reference for a senior attorney. Some will give consultations free.
Ask what can be done legally in your situation.

Good luck.
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Did she sign a contract promising her SS check each month? Did she (or someone) set up an automatic payment from her checking account?

Is she "Medicaid Pending" status? Has she, is she going to, apply for Medicaid? (If not, why not?) Did she get a warning that Medicare was ending on the rehab and she would be financially responsible for any further stay?

Very few of us get SS in amounts that would pay for a nursing home. Even getting her entire check probably doesn't cover her debt. I get a decent SS (compared to some) but in my state NH would cost about $4,000 more than my check per month.

My advice is to gather as much information as you can -- initial contract, correspondence, details about how the nh obtained the money, etc. Then call your area agency on aging, describe the situation, and ask their advice on how to proceed. You may need a lawyer; the agency may be able to refer you to low-cost sources.

For most of us, the costs involved in rehab and long-term care come as a severe shock. And if we are trying to care for our loved ones at home with no income, we can be in a world of hurt.

I certainly hope you get some local help in straightening this out.
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