When my mom broke her hip and ended up in a nursing home, we had hopes of her coming back to our house to live (where she was before the fall). I knew that at some point if she didn't come home, the nursing home would be getting her SSI check as applied income. I was also told to not hand it over to the home until the state told me to do so. Well the state told me to in November, but also said I had to pay retro beginning the previous July. I had no clue and had used the money to continue to pay her share of the rent and to help us out financially. So the debt that happened is quite substantial. I work in a group home so I have very little money and my husband is on disability. I was just contacted by a lawyer for the home (my mom is still there and they are getting paid now). I have offered to pay it back at $100 a month because even that is a stretch. I don't know if they will accept that or not. I have been considering filing for bankruptcy for other debts I have and am wondering if I would be able to include this debt? If anyone has any helpful advice I would surely appreciate it. Had I known they could require me to relinquish her SSI retroactively I never would have used it.

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To me there's 2 different problems…. mom's & yours. Filing bankruptcy for your debts and mishandling of mom's income doesn't solve all.

Mom is out of compliance for Medicaid's co-pay or SOC (share of cost) rules. Mom is the recipient of Medicaid. The facility can issue her a "30 Day Notice" in which she has to pay the delinquent copay from last July till Nov within 30 days or she can be kinda evicted. If mom, you or other family cannot pay or come to a binding agreement to repay, then what is likely to happen is that mom will become an emergency ward of the state with a court appointed guardian named to oversee her care and her finances. You are removed as DPOA & from any decision making for mom. If guardian needs to move mom to another facility, then it happens.

Often with a 30 day, family will move the parent from NH and back home. But past due is still owed to the NH.

Your problems, to me, would be IF you can be held responsible for the debt owed to the NH & also IF APS would investigate you for exploitation of a vulnerable adult & place charges against you. Carefully read your copy of the admissions paperwork. If you personally signed the admissions contract, then you can be held responsible to pay. Your suggestion of $ 100 a mo payment probably isn't worth the paperwork to deal with; the NH or its debt collection atty is better off getting a judgment against you as it can be enforced & or sold.

What is owed? Avg SS $ 1200 a mo…. so 4 mos is under 5K owed.

What you may hear from the atty is this ….as DPOA, you have a required fiduciary duty to handle funds properly on your mom's behalf. By not paying the SOC, you failed in that duty. Medicaid application and the admissions documents have statements that co-pays for Medicaid compliance are required. And unless you pay, NH will request that APS look into all things you did as DPOA and atty will file in court against your mom and you for the amount due plus fees as a judgment….."

If you work at a group home, having APS do an investigation on you is pretty serious. Think if this could cost your job. Using mom's income to cover "rent" on your own home when mom was a full-time resident at a NH for months is not going to look good as an excuse.

Bankruptcy doesn't solve all the issues.

You may want to clearly ask the atty if there is any room for negotiation for the past-due SOC total. It may be that as it's a specific amount of SOC $ required by Medicaid, there can be no negotiation to reduce the amount. If so and you can't pay it, ask what will happen for mom's being able to stay at the NH or if she will get a 30 day Notice and when it will likely be sent. Please pause to think of how all this could morph into a bigger stickier problem for both mom and you & what you can do to resolve things.
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