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I need to close my mother's trust fund at the nursing home. I'm getting resistance from the nursing home financial director. She wouldn't even let her draw her own money out.
Has anyone had this problem? They act like it's their money and not hers.
From my understanding it's not a law to have these residents trust funds. Just shameful at the way this money is wasted or to scare the patients from asking for it.
Thank you

Is your mom leaving the nursing home?

the thing with Medicaid is, if they are giving her the $30 a month then there may be Medicaid rules about what can be done with the fund. It’s not meant to accumalate & become an inheritance or a nest egg (not saying that’s what you are trying to do). It’s supoosed to be spend on her personal needs-clothing, tooth brushes, shampoo, lotions, hair cuts, shoes, etc. You should call the ombudsman and find out if you are allowed to withdraw all that money. Only reason I think you wouldn’t be able to is again, if it all came from Medicaid. It’s still your moms funds but Medicaid has their rules.
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Nncbb57 Dec 20, 2019
Exactly! Worded better than I did🤷🏼‍♀️!
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Sorry people but that money is the person's whose name is on it. It does not go back to the NH or Medicaid. When my Mom passed, I presented the short certificate showing I was Executor. The info was sent to the billing office. Within a few weeks, I had all the money in Moms acct. It was included in her estate.

If Mom is still in the NH, don't think you can freeze it. If its approaching the 2k that she is allowed, u need to spend it. Get her teeth. Get her some clothes. I would question any deductions made without her authority or yours if ur POA. This money cannot be used by the NH for any of her care.

Look up Personal needs acct on the Medicaid site for your state. It should have an explanation on how it can and can't be used. I would contact Moms Medicaid caseworker and tell them ur having a problem. Maybe u can set up an acct that the NH can deposit that PNA. There have been members who continue to pay SS to NH being allowed to take out the PN monies.
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Magnoliamoon8 Dec 20, 2019
Thats what I want to do is her money go into a bank account I set up for her at my bank. Thanks I'll check into finding her Medicaid case manager.
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Is this a for-profit privately owned home? Because they might be counting on families forgetting about those funds after the person dies. I would get that money away from the nursing home and keep it in an account of your mother's, with you as PoA. Do not give in to the administrator.
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Magnoliamoon8 Dec 20, 2019
I found out that some money was spent for another family member. I also found discrepancy after asking for details of her trust fund. Example..32 dollars for a bottle of shampoo from Walmart.
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An account facilities have for residents is technically called a Resident Trust Account. However, this is not the same as a legal trust set up where a trustee is appointed to manage the account. A legal trust is defined by Google dictionary as "an arrangement whereby a person (a trustee) holds property as its nominal owner for the good of one or more beneficiaries."

The Resident Trust Account is sort of like the facility acting as a bank holding the resident's money. Typically, a person who is on Medicaid has their social security come to the facility automatically. In this case, the facility has requested from the Social Security Administration to become the Representative Payee for the social security money. The funds get deposited into the resident trust account. The facility will deduct the liability to the nursing home (the part owed to the nursing home). The liability is the amount of income less what the state allows for a resident's personal needs allowance (PNA). In my state it is $52 each month. So, if grandma’s total monthly income is $1,052, the facility is to be paid $1,000 and the resident gets to keep $52. Again, this PNA varies from state to state.  

The important part is the PNA is the resident's money to do with what he/she wishes---give it away, spend it, save it or burn it. The facility is not entitled to the PNA. What does happen is that since the facility is the Representative Payee, they are responsible for reporting to the Social Security Administration as to where the funds went. A receipt the resident signs when they receive their PNA should be sufficient for the report, but some facilities take the reporting responsibility to the extreme. 

There is no requirement for the resident to use the Resident Trust Account at the facility. The alternative would be for the resident or their legal representative to receive the income into a personal bank account FOR THE RESIDENT, pay the facility the liability each month, manage the account and any reporting to social security.

Those who are private pay may also have their Resident Trust Account funded. This allows for the resident to have access to money when they wish. It is like having a bank within the facility.  The import take-away is it is the resident’s money! If a resident has trouble with this issue, they should contact their local Long-Term Care Ombudsman.
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Magnoliamoon8 Dec 20, 2019
I have dual power of attorney. There was never a problem withdrawing funds until recently. How do I have direct deposit into a joint account I opened for her?
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Thank you JoAnn29, my mother is bedridden. Past statements show misuse of funds. My mother and I were denied taking any money out. I buy what she needs and even if the lost money was accounted for, there's still were money taken out that was a waste. I wish I had known I didn't need a resident trust fund. I would never reccomend having one.
I'm sending a certified letter return receipt to the administrator on this, lack of bathing etc...
If you can get home help for your love one please do. I've seen my mother and other patients go downhill after a year in a nursing home.
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JoAnn29 Dec 21, 2019
The NH cannot use that money. Its not theirs. You may want to call SS andctell them there is misuse of her PNA. I would ask for the paperwork that Mom or u signed authorizing a deduction. You can be set up as an authorized person. You show the receipt for those PJs and they reimburse u.
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Magnolia, if your mom is on Medicaid and has close to 2k in PNA / resident trust fund/ in-facility trust account AND has more $ in bank account for dental work, AND NH has her as delinquent in her bill, theres going to be an issue somewhere for her Medicaid eligibility.

setting aside the access issue of getting PNA $ for a bit..... your mom has to do copay of almost all her monthly income to NH as per Medicaid rules. If NH has her owing 3 months, then something not getting paid. They are - I bet - suspending access to her PNA till that gets straighted out. I’d suggest you really get on this ASAP & have all at zero balance for EOY. So mom starts 2020 freshy fresh for billing.

Medicaid for LTC has 2k as the max allowed for nonexempt assets. It sounds like between PNA & tooth fairy fund she’s way over that. Medicaid can do a recertification & will require maybe 3-6 mos. of all financials - like bank statements,PNA balance. It she’s over 2k she can be deemed ineligible for staying on Medicaid. It will be a nightmare to go thru & do new application. She needs to spend down her $ ASAP. Really calmly speak with billing to get her act zeroed and then see how much $ she has stashed overall. Personally id keep it at a max of $1500 total - whether it’s in a NH PNA or in her old checking account or a combo of both of them.

Been a couple of posts on this forum, where NH used PNA $ to buy resident durable $$$ equipment, like a wheelchair. Medicaid Resident was at or over 2k, so rather than have them get ineligible, NH did a spend down. I bet it’s allowed as per admissions contract.

On moving to a new NH. It can be done, I did it for my mom. But it will be quite the ballet to get accomplished. First you do want her totally current on old NH bill so compliant for Medicaid. So that month of move there is no hold on her account. I’d have her PNA at under $150 so whatever final charges (beauty shoppe, cable, phone) can be fully paid from PNA. New NH, should if their worth a fig, should send out a team to do a needs assessment on your mom, so that they can determine that the new place can meet her needs. For my mom, it was a duet of RN & SW; they called me from moms room to say all was good and put mom on the phone too. The assessment is usually good for 30 days, so you have to get her moved over by then. I timed it so that mom moved couple days after she got both her SS$ & her retirement $. Both old NH and new NH must get their respective copays for month of move. By doing it after all income in, mom could do a check to each to the penny for their exact # of days. I did notify old NH by fax day after assessment of move. If they are on Medicaid you can move them without having to do 30 day notice. Although old NH may tell you that isn’t the case......

new NH let me set up moms side of room the day before. So I basically stripped out old room and had all done & waiting for her. She had to be there by 10/10:30 AM as they wanted her there and in for lunch and off to afternoon activities.

This is important, you MUST get all her medications from old NH. Their meds are done usually in 90 day blister packs. Medicaid & MediCARE will not pay for a 2nd set. So you or mom must get all meds. If NH uses a locked medication management system, you may need to actually schedule this in writing. If she is using NH equipment - walkers, wheelchair all that stuff stays - you need to have her able to get into your car on her own. Otherwise you’ll need to hire a ambulance service to transfer her - this is not paid by the M&Ms. My mom was totally ambulatory with her own footed cane, so not an issue.

There will be paperwork to request electronic transfer of her health chart too. You need to be on her HIPPA list at old NH to do this.
New NH will check Medicaid to make sure no eligibility or compliance issues too. So you do need that past due whatevers to be gone.
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Magnoliamoon8 Dec 27, 2019
Whow thanks for the information. I'll get a certified letter ready for administrator and financial department. Since I've written this I'm talking to a lawyer about lack of bathing and having a catheter in for a year. I'll keep you all updated.
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Get in touch with the long-term care ombudsman in your area for better clarification and you also might want to invest with an certified elder law attorney.
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Magnoliamoon8 Dec 20, 2019
Ive tried the regional but she seemed on the nursing homes side. Anyway to go over her head?
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Yes shes on Medicaid and I froze her account due to discrepancies of about 400 dollars. Shes very close to the 2000 dollar limit. Plus I have another account for her to get her teeth redone.
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No my mother is bed ridden. I've also been told that the P.O.A, recieves any money left over after death. A lawyer I talked too told me to try and talk once more with them.
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JoAnn29 Dec 17, 2019
POA stops at death than Executor takes over. See my response.
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Magnolia, I just read one of your responses stating that your mother owed 3 months when she moved in..if so, they can offset the "Trust". Start by reviewing what was signed when she moved in and go from there.
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Magnoliamoon8 Dec 27, 2019
Thank you.
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