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My mother has been in the nursing home since October of 2018. She has dementia. Yesterday the nursing home informed my father that their joint account could now be a problem for Medicaid which they could have told us months ago. They said he needs to remove her name from the joint account and she should have an account with no more than $2000 in it. I am confused as to why she needs an account at all. She has no reason to access the account and does not have the ability to ask someone to do it for her. It seem that this account would become a constant nuisance. I assume that the remainder of her S.S. would have to be deposited into that account which would require constantly transferring or removing fund to keep the balance under the $2000 cutoff. What am I missing?

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Yes, keep mom's and dad's funds separate simplifies for Medicaid. Have you and dad seen an elder law attorney? Mom has to have less than 2k in her account, dad can keep his money so no comingling of funds once Medicaid is in the picture. You wouldn't want Medicaid claiming dad's half of assets.

The only account mom would need is one kept by the nursing home for personal expenses, taken from HER social security, solely for her use.
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Your mother's funds should be kept separate. Her social security, as far as I've been able to understand this, will be diverted to the NH except for her small personal allowance, which will go into her account. A shampoo and set, a pedicure, a glamorous new nightie, underclothes to replace the ones that routinely go a.w.o.l. in the average care home: small items of expenditure like these should take care of her allowance easily enough without your having to struggle. If your father isn't happy to operate it for her, will you?

Is the thought of removing your mother's name from a joint account, which perhaps they've had together for many years, upsetting for your father?
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Gremlin Apr 12, 2019
My parents have never been ones to kept on top of things. They usually wait for several pounds of body waist to hit the fan before they consider turning off the fan. Why do today what you can do six month from now? Never considering that what would have taken a day will now take weeks and will most likely cause even more problems.

As for my mothers need while in the nursing home I just can't think of very much. She is in the dementia wing. She can't walk due to nerve damage which required three operation to keep the damage from making it's slow crawl toward her heart. When she speaks it's in noises more often than words and adult diapers are a permanent fixture for the rest of her life. A person needs very little when they have lost they grasp of the reality around them. In another six month she won't be able to have a hard candy for fear of choking. With little to nothing to spend down the money on it could become a problem. The only thing I can think of is possible donating to charity. At least the money would go to a good cause and they would get a tax deduction.
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Socks.
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When my mom went on Medicaid in 2016, her social security check went to the facility to pay for her care and Medicaid picked up the rest. The nursing home deposited something like $50;a month into her personal account there. I did have to watch that balance. But if I withdrew money from her nursing home account, I had to spend that on her.

If no one has POA for her, you or your dad need to get it if Mom is capable of signing.
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shad250 Apr 12, 2019
Lol spend it on what? Overpriced products/services brought into the facility so vendors can make a buck. These NH accounts are comical as well, since if the resident passes with money in the account. It takes 30 days for refund, so NH can capitalize on interest.
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Candy. Cookies. Hair done. New easy to wear clothing. A piece of costume jewelry, there is plenty to spend that $50.00. Maybe even let mom have fun with it.
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I don't think that mom has to have 2k, she has to have less than 2k. So zero is fine.

I would talk to Medicaid and a certified elder law attorney to ensure that dad is protected and if he is in need of part of moms social security check to continue to live.

This is not a DIY process, it will be well worth the money to pay for the attorney.
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