flyoverhere

whatever is on my mind….

FYI…jumping through government hoops


For those who have been reading this blog, you know that we had to put my Mom in a nursing home and that we ran into problems with Mom’s ability to pay for it.  Turns out that her social security income and her small pension payment put her income above the maximum allowable for her to qualify for Medicaid assistance but it wasn’t enough to be a private pay resident.  We couldn’t afford the additional $1000 to $1500/mo that was needed to supplement her income and pay for her care without assistance.  So, what to do?

We were told about a special trust that could possibly assist us in qualifying her for Medicaid.  Evidently Medicaid (the government) can’t legally take more than the maximum stated income, in Texas that is $2094/mo but if you have income that exceeds that you must retain an attorney who specializes in Elder Law to set up a Miller Qualified Income Trust, our attorney’s fee was $1000.  For that fee we got the Trust document and instructions to be followed to the letter for setting up the Trust account with Mom’s bank.  In order for this to work the bank has to agree to charge NO FEES for administering the account.  Thankfully Mom’s bank agreed and yesterday the account was set up.

In our case, Mom’s SS check must immediately be transferred into the Trust account as soon as it is automatically deposited monthly into her personal checking account.  Then I, as Trustee, must immediately write a check from the Trust account for $60 (the amount she is allowed to keep for personal needs) and deposit it back into her personal checking account.  Then I must immediately write a check from the Trust account to the nursing home for the full amount of her SS check, less the $60.  Then I must immediately write another check to the nursing home from her personal checking account for the full amount of her monthly pension check, which brings the total going to the nursing home all of her monthly income less the $60/mo she gets to keep to pay for all her personal needs including clothing, toiletries, getting her hair done, etc., and if I make a mistake and do anything out of sequence Medicaid can disqualify her and we would be responsible for paying the nursing home for at least 30 days or longer depending on how quickly we could correct the error and how quickly the Medicaid case worker approved it.  No pressure here?

All of this just so the government can legally take the extra $300/mo that Mom’s income exceeded the legal maximum.  Now why this qualifies her, I have no idea.  We just jumped through the hoops, not to mention paying the attorney fee for Mom because she didn’t have enough to cover it and wallah the government says OK.  No allowances were made to cover her outstanding bills including those for her cancer treatments, along with her pharmacy bill for meds while she was on those treatments and we are left to deal with all of that.

This is just another example of how government help ends up being a nightmare because government rules are of the ‘one size fits all’ variety and no consideration was given to people like my Mom who fell through the cracks.  I don’t know what would happen to someone who had no means or the mental capacity  to hire the attorney and no one to physically go to a bank and set up the trust and then to serve as the Trustee and administer it.  I posted this information because it might help someone else dealing with this sort of problem.

That old saying, “I’m from the government and I am here to help you”, has new meaning for us!

Grace and Mercy to deal with all of life’s challenges!

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8 Comments

  1. ellzey

    One of the harsh experiences I had was the realization that as you start to navigate these issues, there are few experts to ask advice from – at least few who offer it at a reasonable price.

    • We found the same thing. The attorney we hired only gave us the document and instructions to set up the Trust. If we wanted to know how to handle her house and her care and her outstanding bills he would advise us at the rate of $300/hr, which we cannot afford.

  2. I’m from the government and here is the explanation: The party of the second part needs to earn monies off the party of the third part so this extra layer of action needed on your part was added by the party of the first part years ago. We are in a financial bind, so as the party of the 4th part you are required to take the actions as directed by … darn, can’t remember who is in charge of this. Well that doesn’t matter. If you love your country you will just do what is necessary without asking questions.

    • we are caught in a trap and can’t walk out….why is it this way…..because we allowed out ‘betters’ those 535 folks who are supposed to be defending our liberty to make it this way!

      • If I’m not mistake (which wouldn’t be anything new) … is that a little Elvis I hear?

        Oh, and the 535 crowd — except for a few of the Tea Party folks, all politicians.

      • Yep Mrs. AL, Suspicious Minds ya know! Politicians….grrrrrrr!

  3. Christie

    Mrs. AL, You’re too funny!

    • Thanx, Christie. You are kind. I usually don’t get the humor thing down on paper.

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