What happens to pensions and social security after a person passes away in a facility under Title 19? - AgingCare.com

What happens to pensions and social security after a person passes away in a facility under Title 19?

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A friend's husband will be in a facility soon under Title 19. If he passes away in a year or two, would she be able to continue receiving his pension and social security after the facility receives all that it is due for his care? Do they have to give an accounting of how much they are owed and how much they are getting? She is very worried about losing those funds forever, since she is younger and very healthy. The facility lawyer has told her it is gone forever, and the pension managers say that isn't true. She is very confused.

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Thanks everyone. I talked to a CT DSS manager and he said because his pension has the survivorship clause, she will definitely get his pension again if he passes away. She just has to contact the pension manager to have it reinstated to her. She will no longer be obligated for any of his expenses incurred. It is great news for her. Thanks again.
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Suggest to your friend that she meet with the benefits director at her husband's former place of employment to ascertain the expected flow of future benefits.
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He was a city police officer and she does get spousal benefits upon his death. But even though she is in her early 70's she still works almost full time because she needs to. The area where they live has extremely high taxes. She loves their little house and doesn't want to lose it. But they need his pension and both their social securities plus her part time work (she just recently went full time to prepare for the loss of income) in order to pay all the bills and live comfortably. She really got the impression from the lawyer that once he passed away, the pension would not start going to her again. It would be lost. She's in CT with high expenses (her house taxes alone are about $15,000-the poorer the city, the higher the taxes). If he dies in the nursing home, she just wants to be assured that she will begin getting the pension again. It would allow her to go back to part time work or even finally stop working all together finally. I don't think the lawyer was talking about her getting or not getting refunds. He seemed clear that the pension would be terminated for her. She's very confused and doesn't want to sign anything until it is clarified.
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by Title 19, I'm assuming you mean that he will be going into a NH with Medicaid paying for it because he qualifies that usually means HIS monthly income and his assets are both under 2,000 to 2,200 a mo. The actual rate varies by state.

Correct? If that is the case, she becomes the "community spouse"as such the asset ceiling is higher (than the 2K) and is limited to ½ of couple's joint assets.This is “spousal protected resource allowance” equal to one-half of the countable resources but not more than $109,560 in 2011. I think it’s this amount for all states.
The $ in the asset group is hers and is not due to the NH to pay for his care ever.

For spouse's there's other issues related to income (not assets), like how to deal with income if she still works or if she never worked and her only income is his SS &/or retirement and she need's to get a MMMNA - minimum monthly maintenance needs allowance. (Say that 3 times fast!) These are all sticky, you'll likely need someone to work with her in figuring that out like an elder care attorney. The MMMNA is based on your state's AVERAGE and seem to be on the low side for all states and often the community spouse will have to do an appeal to the state for more MMMNA or get a court order for spousal support to get more monthly support.

So say she doens't work and is totally dependent on his income from SS and his pension. Let's say that comes to $ 1,900.00 a month and her state has MMMNA set at $ 1,000 a month. Then every month, she has to pay the NH $900 a month which is the difference. So she is left with 1K. You can see why often they have to do an appeal for the MMMNA amount especially if there is a mortgage payment or there are children and she doesn't work.

Now when he dies, IF they have been married more than 10 years, she can get his spouse SS benefits and it will be at a somewhat lower rate. As geewiz said usually for older pensions the same thing happens but without the 10 yr rule. If there is a prior wife sometimes they too can draw the SS and sometimes even the pension if they have not remarried. My mom gets my dad's federal employee survivor pension and it's about 1/3 lower than what they got when my dad was alive and she will get it until she dies.
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Is it possible that each responder is answering a different question? Perhaps the facility keeps the income for the length of the husband's stay at that facility. The wife may then receive spousal benefits (after the time of passing) in the form of a reduced pension. This is a typical arrangement for the older pension plans often from large employers. The facility may think the wife expects a refund of payments made to the facility during the husband's tenure there. The pension manager may be answering that the wife will get a spousal pension (generally reduced) for the remainder of her life. Suggest to your friend that she clarify the question with examples (if in fact I have the right thought process! ) : - )
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