When someone is injured or has surgery and needs rehabilitation, they sometimes enter a nursing home facility. Most of the time this is a temporary stay. Social Security is not required to take an SSI payment from residents for temporary living situations. The SSI benefits can still go to the patient’s home and the spouse or other caretaker can make the payment to the nursing facility. In the event the patient has Medicare or Medicaid the nursing home payment will usually be covered and the SSI check can continue to be sent to the patient’s home o deposited in their bank account.
When there is a spouse still living at home when a patient enters a nursing home, the SSI payment will in most cases still be sent to the spouse. The reason this happens is that the spouse needs to be supported while the patient is in the nursing facility. Many times patients who are in nursing facilities can receive assistance from government programs such as Medicaid to help with nursing home bills. When a longer stay is needed, there is Medicaid coverage available so that the patient is covered and there is no payment needed. This will also allow the spouse to continue to receive the SSI benefits of the patient.
By most laws, a nursing facility cannot take SSI payments from their residents. A resident can choose to have the nursing home payment sent to the nursing facility on their own to cover the costs but even in this situation the resident has to be able to keep a minimum of $52 in SSI benefits a month for necessities.