Does a nursing home take your pension and Social Security benefits?
Some nursing homes may offer resident trust funds into which patients can deposit their pension checks, Social Security checks, and other monies. The issue is that unethical nursing home staff can potentially steal from these accounts. Nursing homes aren’t allowed to make residents deposit funds in resident trust funds and have no legal right to handle residents’ money.
Even if a resident deposits cash in one of these funds, they must certify every transaction or designate a representative. However, if you desire to deposit your funds in such an account, ensure your state requires audits and background checks. If not, see if the nursing home runs criminal background checks on the people who will have access to seniors’ accounts and if it performs voluntary audits of accounts.
• To defend a senior in a nursing home, they have the right to an attorney with a trusted representative.
• Make sure to interview nursing home staff before choosing a home and ask about safeguards against theft.
• Use electronic direct deposit for payments rather than checks, which could be fraudulently cashed, and get bank statements electronically.