My mother is in a nursing home with dementia and COPD and receives an SSI and a VA check for $90.00 monthly. Apparently VA somehow lost her in the system and she had not received her check for about 5yrs so they sent her $4500.00 for back pay. I am her POA and I did not know that she was not receiving her VA check as the nursing home receives both of her checks. They recently called me and told me that according to SSI standards she is now over the amount of money she is allowed to have and needs to do a spend down. Is her VA checks suppose to count towards an income as the nursing home is telling me it is or are they two separate things. Also, In trying to come up solutions for this spending down I ask if she could come and spend a week with me but they told me that they would have to do a medical evaluation because she has been there so long and is "facility institutionalized" and might not be safe. I have had her other times and no problems have ever occurred. I ask if her funds could pay for gas for me to come and get her and have her stay at my house for a week but told me "NO" as it would be considered a "gift" and she can not "gift" any of these funds to anyone. However,,, she could take a taxi to my house,,,I live 3 hours away and 120miles from her. They told me that I could take her on a cruise and have all expenses paid. Seems a little strange that I can take her on a cruise with no medical eval but I can't bring her to my house where all of family can have visits. In trying to come up with solutions this lady at the nursing told me that she was a little concerned that I would only want to have my mother around if there was money involved. Needless to say I hit the roof. I just don't know what to do. The way they are spending down her access as they call it is to buy her an ipod. This is a 88 yr old woman who wears glasses to thick you could start a forest fire with them and they want to buy an ipod with a screen that I have a hard time looking into. Sorry about the rant but I just don't know what to do and was so insulted by what this person said to me I'm about to crawl outta my skin. any help is appreciated. Thank you.