Can a Florida Nursing Home or Assisted Living Facility Take My Stimulus Check?

 In Elder Law, Government Benefits, Long-Term Care

The recently enacted federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided for a direct payment of up to $1,200.00 to most taxpayers, including many residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission has received several reports of nursing home and assisted living facilities requiring their residents who are on Medicaid to sign over the stimulus funds to the facility. There have been reports of facilities claiming that because the resident is on Medicaid, the facility gets to keep their stimulus payment. This claim is not true.

According to the CARES Act, the stimulus payments are a tax credit. Under the Internal Revenue Code, tax credits do not affect eligibility for federal benefits programs, like Medicaid, and they are not counted as a resource that an individual must use to pay for those benefits.

Because most nursing homes and assisted living facilities are currently closed off to the public due to COVID-19, it can be more difficult to monitor your loved one’s finances. If you are managing a facility resident’s financial affairs (such as an agent under power of attorney) or your loved one lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility and you are not sure what happened to their stimulus payment, talk to the facility’s management.

If you find out that a Florida nursing home or assisted living facility has taken your loved one’s stimulus payment, you should report it to the Florida attorney general’s office immediately and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

If you have specific questions regarding your stimulus payment and preserving your Medicaid eligibility, the experienced elder law attorneys of Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. are here to assist you. Call us at (941)906-1231 to set up a consultation.

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