The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued an alert recently warning residents of long-term care facilities and their families that some facilities may unlawfully require residents who are on Medicaid to sign over their $1,200 pandemic relief checks. This is unlawful and those payments should be returned to the patients.
The stimulus payments that are part of the CARES Act are a tax credit. According to tax law, tax credits are not to be counted as “resources” for federal benefit programs like Medicaid. Also, these economic relief checks do not impact Medicaid eligibility because it is not considered income. Patients should continue to pay the same amount to the nursing facility as before and keep the stimulus check for themselves.
For a fact sheet from the National Center on Law & Elder Rights titled “Nursing Home Residents, Medicaid, and Stimulus Checks: What You Need to Know,” click here.
If you are not sure whether a loved one in a nursing facility received their payment, get in touch with the facility as soon as possible to confirm. If the facility wrongfully kept the payment, you may file a complaint online with the FTC and also notify the Maryland Attorney General’s Office. At Stouffer Legal we care about our seniors and want to provide you with the resources you need to ensure they are protected. This money is meant for them personally and can be spent the way they want to spend it. Do not let the nursing facility tell you otherwise.