Can I apply to for aid on Mom's behalf?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2017
A fellow caregiver asked...

I am helping my mother, which has been turning into a full-time job. I just got a part time job, we are both broke, and then I heard we might get her some kind of assistance to help her pay me for my time, instead of paying a stranger, or being alone while I work somewhere else. The problem is, even though I showed her the material from you site and bookmarked it for her, she absolutely refuses to do the work to get it. She wants me to apply for it. What can I do? We really need the financial assistance for me to continue helping her. Can I do that? I don't know why she's so stubborn, but I just can't get her to do it, although she thinks it's a great idea. She's 88 and lives by herself. She falls alot and is terribly hard of hearing. Thank you for your help.

Expert Answers

Many people have difficulty with -- even a fear of -- figuring out how to apply for benefits and doing the paperwork, even if the result might be of great benefit to them. Unfortunately, unless you have a Power of Attorney to act on your mother's behalf, she's going to have to get involved at some stage, at least to the extent of reading and signing some papers and being interviewed by people from the state in-home care program where you live.

However, you might be able to do a lot of the initial investigating and paperwork for her. You can contact the local office of Medicaid program in your state, and ask about how your mother could qualify for in-home coverage, and whether there is a program that would pay her directly for that care (which would allow her to pay you). If there is such a program, you can get the application forms -- either download them from the state's Medicaid Web site or get them from the local Medicaid office -- and sit down with your mother to help her fill them out. When her initial forms are complete, you can return them to the Medicaid office. You can also set up an appointment for a Medicaid worker to interview your mother, either at home or at the Medicaid office. If you take care of all the paperwork and the phone calls, your mother might be able to qualify just by signing her name and answering a few questions.

If it seems like this is becoming a repeated problem with your mother -- her unwillingness or inability to take care of important matters such as banking, insurance, benefit programs -- then you may want to consider asking her if she'd like you to act as her power of attorney. This requires her to sign a form in front of a notary. But you can do the rest of the work yourself in preparing the power of attorney form.

Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

the concern was financial help for the caregiver while taking care of her mom. again is there financial assistance for the caregiver while taking care of their loved ones because seniors don't trust a lot of people and that puts the child in a situation of not working to take care of the parents being able to pay rent etc. for the caregiver becomes hassle