256B.35 PERSONAL NEEDS ALLOWANCE; PERSONS IN CERTAIN FACILITIES.
Subdivision 1. Personal needs allowance.
(a) Notwithstanding any law to the contrary,
welfare allowances for clothing and personal needs for individuals receiving medical assistance
while residing in any skilled nursing home, intermediate care facility, or medical institution
including recipients of supplemental security income, in this state shall not be less than $45 per
month from all sources. When benefit amounts for Social Security or supplemental security
income recipients are increased pursuant to United States Code, title 42, sections 415(i) and
1382f, the commissioner shall, effective in the month in which the increase takes effect, increase
by the same percentage to the nearest whole dollar the clothing and personal needs allowance
for individuals receiving medical assistance while residing in any skilled nursing home, medical
institution, or intermediate care facility. The commissioner shall provide timely notice to local
agencies, providers, and recipients of increases under this provision.
(b) The personal needs allowance may be paid as part of the Minnesota supplemental aid
program, notwithstanding the provisions of section
256D.37, subdivision 2
, and payments
to recipients of Minnesota supplemental aid may be made once each three months covering
liabilities that accrued during the preceding three months.
(c) The personal needs allowance shall be increased to include income garnished for child
support under a court order, up to a maximum of $250 per month but only to the extent that the
amount garnished is not deducted as a monthly allowance for children under section
, clause (5).
Subd. 2. Purpose for allowance.
Neither the skilled nursing home, the intermediate care
facility, the medical institution, nor the Department of Human Services shall withhold or deduct
any amount of this allowance for any purpose contrary to this section.
Subd. 3. Prohibition on commingling of funds.
The nursing home may not commingle the
patient's funds with nursing home funds or in any way use the funds for nursing home purposes.
Subd. 4. Field audits required.
The commissioner of human services shall conduct field
audits at the same time as cost report audits required under section
256B.27, subdivision 2a
at any other time but at least once every four years, without notice, to determine whether this
section was complied with and that the funds provided residents for their personal needs were
actually expended for that purpose.
Subd. 5. Designation on use of funds.
The nursing home may transfer the personal
allowance to someone other than the recipient only when the recipient or the recipient's guardian
or conservator designates that person in writing to receive or expend funds on behalf of the
recipient and that person certifies in writing that the allowance is spent for the well-being of the
recipient. Persons, other than the recipient, in possession of the personal allowance, may use the
allowance only for the well-being of the recipient. Any person, other than the recipient, who, with
intent to defraud, uses the personal needs allowance for purposes other than the well-being of the
recipient shall be guilty of theft and shall be sentenced pursuant to section
609.52, subdivision 3
clauses (2), (3)(a) and (c), (4), and (5). To prosecute under this subdivision, the attorney general
or the appropriate county attorney, acting independently or at the direction of the attorney general,
may institute a criminal action. A nursing home that transfers personal needs allowance funds to
a person other than the recipient in good faith and in compliance with this section shall not be
held liable under this subdivision.
Subd. 6. Civil action to recover damages.
In addition to the remedies otherwise provided
by law, any person injured by a violation of any of the provisions of this section, may bring a
civil action and recover damages, together with costs and disbursements, including costs of
investigation and reasonable attorney's fees, and receive other equitable relief as determined by
History: 1974 c 575 s 15; 1977 c 271 s 1,2; 1980 c 563 s 1; 1982 c 476 s 2; 1984 c 534 s 25;
1984 c 654 art 5 s 58; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 254 s 7; 1987 c 403 art 2 s 86,87; 1988 c 689 art 2 s
153; 1990 c 566 s 7; 1996 c 451 art 2 s 31