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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default SSDI Benefits in Institutions

    Is it legal for someone (not a minor, disabled, retired, or legal payee) to collect SSDI while the recipient is in an institution long term (paid for by medicaid/medicare, so no living expenses beyond clothing and luxuries for the recipient)? I've looked all over for the answer, as I've heard stories from friends about this happening with people they knew. I don't even know if this actually happens, I'm just curious and I can't find a good answer.

    In Ohio. Sorry, don't know if that helps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: SSDI Benefits in Institutions

    Type of institution? That matters.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: SSDI Benefits in Institutions

    Nursing home, and a rather cheap medicare home from what I was told. By long term I mean several years.
    And, again, the people actually cashing the checks are working age and not disabled. I should probably mention that from what I gathered, it's enough to keep them living pretty well. And again, from my understanding medicaid/medicare assume all the nursing home bills.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: SSDI Benefits in Institutions

    Medicaid would expect a share of costs to be paid from the SSDI checks. If other persons are spending the money on themselves, that is theft and/or forgery. Illegal.

    SSA can stop this. You need to report that she has moved, the address she is living at and any names of the thieves. Will she get her money back? Maybe, maybe not. But you will have done the right thing. If you want to be anonymous you can but providing as much detailed information as possible is a good idea.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: SSDI Benefits in Institutions

    I don't know if it would be theft/forgery. Due to the Federal Paperwork Reduction Act, all checks are now direct deposit (so the way I phrased it was bad, sorry). The spouse is the one using the benefits, and if the spouse's name is on the bank account the SSDI is deposited in (which I think is totally likely) then legal consent to the spouse using the funds is granted, as far as I know.

    But I think you answered my main question. If someone is in a nursing home, their SSDI is supposed to go towards their care before medicaid picks up the rest, yes?
    I assume this would amount to an overpayment. Like I said, if I understand correctly, this has been going on a long time. So who is expected to pay the (probably now quite overwhelming) sum back: the recipient who should not have allowed their income to be used; or the spouse who should have alerted the SSA to the address change?
    Would there be any other penalty?
    And is there any qualifier that I'm not considering that would make this situation okay? Like if the spouse is really poor, even if they are working age and able bodied, or if the spouse is keeping the house that's in the recipient's name even if they probably will never see it again, or something? I'm just wondering if there is some kind of loophole the spouse may be using.

    I'm sorry I did such a poor job of laying out the situation very well. :P First time posting here. Basically, a buddy of mine who is really bad at online research told me this story. I'm a bit of a legal buff, so he came to me wondering if it was okay. He's friends with the family this is concerning. I don't want to give him advice that he will later regret taking, so I'd like to be able to give him as much information as possible.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    733

    Default Re: SSDI Benefits in Institutions

    Someone is cheating someone. The institutionalized spouse may be getting nursing home care for free when he/she should be paying for it. So either the Medicaid office doesn't know and the taxpayers are paying too much or the nursing home is getting paid less than they should and everyone else in the facility is affected since there is not enough money to pay for everyone's cost of care. So the people who are paying their share of costs are getting screwed because of the reduced caregiving because of less money to pay for it.

    And this institutionalized spouse, are they really mentally capable of making correct monetary decisions? Dementia and feebleness often follow nursing home admissions.

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