Are nursing homes withholding stimulus checks from residents?

Posted at 9:25 PM, May 19, 2020

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission put out information to help guide nursing home and assisted living residents on how to ensure they properly receive a government stimulus check after the agency recieved reports of checks being signed over to facilities.

The checks are entitled for most Americans, including those on Social Security, disability, and survivor benefits.

The FTC said that some facilities are trying to take the stimulus payments intended for their residents who are on Medicaid.

“They’re requiring those people to sign over those funds to the facility. Why? Well, they’re claiming that, because the person is on Medicaid, the facility gets to keep the stimulus payment,” Lois Greisman. Elder Justice Coordinator for the FTC, wrote.

But Greisman explained that because the payments are a tax credit, residents are not required to turn over the payment.

“Nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t take that money from their residents just because they’re on Medicaid,” Greisman said. “And, if they took it already, get in touch with your state attorney general and ask them to help you get it back.”

Complicating matters, nursing homes are not allowing families to visit residents, making it more challenging for families to assist those living in facilities.

As a reminder, here is who is eligible for a stimulus check:

  • $2,400 – Couples earning less than $150,000 a year (couples earning $150,000 - $198,000 will receive a prorated check).
  • $1,200 – Individuals earning less than $75,000 a year (individuals earning $75,000 - $99,000 will receive a prorated check).
  • $1,200 – Heads of households earning less than $112,500 (heads of households earning $112,500 - $136,000 will receive a prorated check).
  • $500 - Each dependent child age 16 or under as of Dec. 31, 2019 (for qualifying individuals and couples).

Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook