I need ideas for spending my intellectually disabled brother's stimulus money

I am the guardian of my brother Stephen who is 40-something intellectually disabled person that lives in a group home. He receives Medicaid which pays for almost all of his living expenses. He also has a part-time job. As such, he has received all of the federal government stimulus checks. According to Medicaid rules, he has a certain period of time to spend the stimulus money so that his monetary assets do not exceed those allowed by law. I’m trying to come up with ideas to spend his money on. Whenever I ask him what he would like, he groans and says “I don’t know”, which is typical for his behavior.

He does NOT need a new TV or furniture. He has a phone. He also has plenty of clothes. He can work his TV and DVD player but his technical abilities do not extend much, if any, beyond that.

His primary interest is sports but only watching, not playing. He has many posters on his walls of various Oklahoma Sooners and Dallas Cowboys football players. When he’s not at work, he spends most of his time watching TV or watching the other residents of his home.

The stimulus money must be spent. It cannot be invested. I can’t buy gold or jewelry with it since those would be considered an investment and could easily be stolen or misplaced.

If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them. I’m currently trying to spend around $600. Thanks.

Can you just buy him a lot of survivable, non-perishable food? And things like toilet paper and such household things? That stuff won’t ever be money badly spent.

The home supplies all of that.

Ah, I see.

Does he like to wear Sooners and Cowboys attire? You mentioned his posters on the wall, but maybe he’d like to wear their clothing. A few Cowboys jerseys, hoodies, jackets, gloves etc. and you may already be nearing $600, thanks to the greed of Jerry Jones.

Perhaps a low-end computer or a gaming machine with a control scheme that he can manage?

I know you said he doesn’t like playing sports, but maybe playing a sports game might split the difference enough in his favour? Advantageously, computers can be as expensive as you need them to be.

He has some but in Oklahoma, you can never have too many OU shirts. Thanks, that’s a good idea.

Some kind of experience? Dunno what 600 bucks could get him sports-wise, but maybe a short trip somewhere - the beach, DIsney World, or whatever. If you do something like Disney, his disability will actually make the trip easier in some ways, as they are very good about accommodations for the disabled. No 3-hour-long wait for rides, for example.

I’m afraid that his manually dexterity isn’t good enough to work any gaming controller that I’m aware of.

Could you take him places? Give him experiences? Are there any expensive museums/concerts/water parks - anything he might enjoy going to?

A really nice pair of comfortable, supportive shoes might eat up a couple hundred $. Or a nice jacket. Something he could wear to/from work.

He might not think he cares about such things, but if you could get a couple of really nice pieces of clothing that he would wear all the time…

Good idea! Dunno if brother would enjoy something somewhat luxurious - like a leather jacket, which can last a lifetime (though with his disability, and being in a group home, there’s the risk that the jacket might get disappeared on him).

You could even buy him replica Oklahoma Sooners championship rings; there’s plenty on eBay and Amazon.

Buying nice clothes is harder that it sounds. He’s very small, maybe 5’2" and less than 100 pounds. His job is sweeping at a thrift store so he wouldn’t wear anything expensive to work.

He does have a vacation to Branson Missouri coming up and he’s been authorized to spend money for that. The $600 is in addition to his upcoming trip. He has a girlfriend that lives in the home that is also going. He wants to take her to dinner and get her a gift. I, of course, am fully supportive of this.

Doing things with him is complicated by the fact that we live in opposite corners of Oklahoma, so it’s about a 4 hour drive for me to get to see him.

One last sports idea: You could get him a customized Sooners jersey and customized Cowboys jersey, both with his name on the back and his favorite number, whatever that is. That might mean a lot more than generic off-the-shelf OU/Dallas stuff.

Perhaps a meet & greet session with Cowboys players where he can get pictures and autographs with the players.

No idea about the legitimacy of that website though, so you’ll have to do your own due diligence. Also, make sure to find out if those sessions are postponed or affected by COVID protocols before booking them.

Is something like an Amazon gift card also verboten under the rules ? Would it be practical, in any case, given the totality of his circumstances ?

I believe that for Medicaid purposes, that would still be considered a monetary asset.

Could he buy you gift cards though? Which you are of course able to spend as you wish, including on gifts for him?

I honestly don’t know but it’s not something I’d be comfortable explaining to an auditor. It’s unlikely but it does happen.

Perhaps a sports (or similar interest) oriented streaming or cable package that offers all of his teams’ games? NFL Sunday Ticket, BIG 12 Sports, etc. They have packages for mobile devices as well.

This could easily be completely out of the question for all sorts of reasons, but I’ll throw it out there.

VR headset, maybe Oculus 2. There are plenty of games/experiences that are just looking around or very simple interfaces where your cursor just follows what you are looking at.