Adult Children Forced To Pay Parents Nursing Home Bill

Nursing Home

Thirty states currently have the filial responsibility law in effect.

These laws can impose a duty, or financial responsibility, upon adult children ordering them to pay for their parents support. Depending on the state your parents live in, you could be responsible for their long term care bill.

With the rising cost of long-term care and the reduced funding sources, nursing homes and other health care providers have increasing interest to compel children to cover the cost of an aging or ailing parent. States can impose financial responsibility on adult children if they find that the parents are indigent or unable to provide for your own support. As Baby Boomers reach their golden years, nursing homes and local governments are faced with providing care to an increasing number of indigent elderly patients. This may encourage states to activate their mostly dormant filial responsibility laws.

In recent years the Pennsylvania Superior Court upheld a lower court ruling (Health Care & Retirement Corporation vs. Pittas1) that allowed Health Care & Retirement Corporation to obtain a judgement making the son of Maryann Pittas responsible for her $93,000 nursing home bill.

States That Currently Have Filial Responsibility Laws In Effect:

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Georgia
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

If your parents live in one of the states listed above consider talking to them about long-term care insurance. If your parent is a veteran, or spouse of a veteran, contact the VA’s Geriatrics and Extended Care to see if they are eligible for any Aid & Attendance (A&A) or Housebound benefits.