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Am I responsible for my step father’s retirement living costs?

I have step father who lives in Florida and has been diagnosed with dementia, he drinks heavily and won’t stop. I live in New York, he gets social security about $1400 and pension of $750 a month as well. When my mother was alive she fixed everything to where monies would be taken out for mortgage, utilities and life insurance.. he has caused a big mess with credit cards which I managed to get to settle his debts with them for lump sum pay out on each one, like 50 cents on the dollar. Will I be responsible for any retirement living housing he might very well have to go in to? The house he lives in, the deed is in my name and my name alone. I also have power of attorney.... which is how I was able to negotiate with credit card companies. Trying to figure out what I can do to help, also he is a vet, but according to VA he not entitled to any assistance from them, which find hard to believe. Can you give me advice or point in direction to get any info?

Status: Open    Nov 25, 2015 - 07:48 AM

VA Benefits, Elder Law

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Expert Answers

Dec 01, 2015 - 08:31 AM

This is called "Filial Responsibility" and it essentially means that children are on the hook for their aging parent's costs of care. You can generally relax though, because not many states have this law in effect. To be absolutely sure though, check with an Elder Law attorney in Florida. The Elder Law attorney can also help him qualify for VA benefits, including the VA nursing home there, and that should save thousands of dollars every month.

Good luck!

Dec 01, 2015 - 10:23 AM

If he is a wartime veteran and needs to move to an assisted living facility or requires assistance at home because of his need for assistance with the activities of daily living then he should be eligible for the VA Aid and Attendance Benefit. This benefit would pay him up to $1,788/month to help pay for these additional costs. Go to and search for veteran service officers or accredited agents in the area he resides and they will be happy to assist.


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