When a person is moving into a nursing home for long-term care, there are many papers that are presented to them by the admissions office. While the resident has many federally-protected rights once they move in, at the time of entry the facility is asking them to sign a Contract which can be enforced in court. You should ask your elder law attorney to review the contract before you sign it, because your attorney works for you.
Nursing homes typically ask the resident or their authorized agent (such as Power of Attorney or Legal Guardian) to agree that income (such as Social Security or pensions) be made directly payable to the facility. The facility will often file a request with the Social Security Administration to be appointed as Representative Payee so that this direct payment can happen. Your elder law attorney will advise you whether you should agree to any of this.
A disturbing trend is that some facilities are asking applicants to authorize them to debit the resident’s bank account every month. Those debits can wreak havoc with the accounts and create problematic situations for you. We have also seen nursing homes ask applicants to pre-authorize them to file a Medicaid application for the resident, or ask you to retrieve prior gifts. Speak with your elder law attorney before agreeing to any of these things.
In some situations, the nursing home business office may introduce you to someone who will prepare and file the Medicaid application for you. Keep in mind that by working with your own elder law attorney instead, you may find out about legal rights that a non-lawyer doesn’t tell you about.
Your lawyer works for you personally, and will advise you about your legal rights.
Call us to discuss your particular situation, at (732) 382-6070.