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Suddenly, You're a Caregiver

[...]parties, including health-care providers, government agencies, care facilities, and financial institutions, may expect or require that your legal authority to make decisions or provide consent be based on more than being a concerned and loving caregiver. The Social Security Administration can give limited decision authority over Social Security benefits through the title of representative payee. [...]there are frequently many misunderstandings about the basics of this arrangement: * You can't get a power of attorney over someone; it has to be given to you. * The person giving the power of attorney (the principal) must have the legal capacity to understand the authority being delegated. * Agents have the authority to do only those things that are given to them. * Agents must make decisions the way the principal wants, not the way they would do for themselves. A power of attorney could include the authority, for instance, to manage investments, pay bills, collect debts, file lawsuits, sell real estate, negotiate with insurance companies, sell a home or a car, access bank accounts, sign income tax returns, apply for public benefits, or make gifts to charities. To sort out Part A (hospital), Part ? (medical insurance), Part C (Medicare Advantage plans) and Part D (prescription drugs, also called Extra Help), go to Social Security--Your elderly parent may qualify for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug costs or Supplemental Security income through Social Security. Some states have a program that allows family members to be paid as family caregivers to help...

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Key Information

Type of Reference
Type of Work
American Bar Association
Publication Year
Issue Number
Journal Titles
Experience : the Magazine of the Senior Lawyers Division, American Bar Association
Volume Number
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