Can I leave money in mom's joint bank account for personal items or does it all have to go into the nursing home account? - AgingCare.com

Can I leave money in mom's joint bank account for personal items or does it all have to go into the nursing home account?

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My mom is currently in NH rehab but,was recently approved for Medicaid beginning in March. She will allowed $30.00 a month for her personal needs. Since i am her only child and I get her personal stuff like her denture creme and magazines that the home does not provide can I leave some of that money in our joint bank account to pay for these things or does in all have to go into the nursing home account. My mom has no savings,property etc...nothing will be in that account but those funds.

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Thanks for your answer. I only live 15 minutes from the nursing home and I had already talked to the bookeeper. My mother and I have a joint account so I will pay the nursing home out of that account and put money necessary into her personal account for her beauty palor and keep what I need for the things she will need that the home does not provide. Thank you for your response
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2t - Alot of this kinda depends on how you feel about keeping mom with the small whatever's she needs @ the NH, how close you are to her & the NH, and how the NH is being paid and how much ability and sense of humor you have about $.

The $ 30 is called her "personal needs allowance". The amount varies by state Medicaid program (each state administers Medicaid under their own state rules but within federal guidelines). My mom is in TX and her PNA is $ 60.00 a month. The PNA is supposed to take care of her needs (clothes, cosmetics, shampoo) that the NH does not provide routinely to Medicaid residents. 1 year of PNA would be $ 720.00 for my mom.

Now my mom gets each month her SS and a retirement annuity direct deposited into her individually owned bank account. I am not an owner on the account but am a signature on the account and am the POD on it (so when she dies, it becomes pay on death to me and is not an asset for probate if probate happens). Roughly she gets $ 1,800 a month and so each month I write a check to the NH for $ 1,740.00 and each month her account builds by $ 60.00 a month. Now I live out of state and when I come in to visit her, I buy whatever she might and write a check for it from this account. So next visit will likely be a $ 250.00 shopping trip as she has "lost" shoes again. I do need to monitor the account to make sure that it never has a balance of more than $ 2,000.00 as 2K is the asset ceiling for Medicaid. Since she get's direct deposit, she pays no bank service charge.

Now also @ the NH, my mom has a trust account of about $ 200.00 which is used for her to draw from to pay for the on-site hair salon or at the canteen for her to buy candy or magazines. The $ in the NH trust get replenished a couple of times a year by a check from her bank account to her NH trust account. Now for us, this works and the NH is fine on getting a written check each month. Some NH will stress they want you to have her SS &/or retirement checks sent to them BUT you as DPOA do not have to do this under Medicaid rules.

But if you want to control her finances and pay the NH, then you really should have her checks deposited into her own personal bank account. What you are doing now is considered commingling of funds. SS has issues with this happening. If for whatever reason you have Medicaid eligibility issues later on then you may have to prove who's $$ is who's and that is a real butt-rash of paperwork to deal with. Your state may require an annual recertification for her Medicaid, my mom's state does, and I have to include 3 months of her bank statements and if her finances & mine were commingled it would be a real mess to figure & maybe jeapordize her Medicaid eligibility till worked out. Commingling = bad thing.

So only you can decide which route to take:
have all her $ go to the NH and you sign out for $ by going to the business office when you need to go shopping for her or take receipts to be reimbursed
OR
open her own personal bank account & SS check direct deposit into it. You pay NH each mo the amount less her $ 30 pna. Good luck!
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also I have money in her account at the nursing home for the beauty shop appointments
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