CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) –Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford is warning nursing home residents and their family members to be on alert about having their “stimulus checks” taken from them.
Ford says that his office has received complaints of nursing homes attempting to or pocketing the money of their residents. By law, nursing homes cannot require residents on Medicaid to sign over their stimulus payments.
“On many fronts, we’re actively working to protect our seniors, and any confiscation of stimulus payments should be reported to my office.”Aaron D. Ford, Nevada Attorney General
KNOW THE LAW:
While Medicaid requires nursing home residents to contribute most of their income toward the cost of care, it still allows them to keep a small amount as personal-need allowance and pay for personal and uncovered medical expenses. The stimulus payments apply towards this personal-need allowance.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, stimulus checks are a tax credit and do not count as a “resource” for federal benefit programs like Medicaid and because Congress has designated these payments as a tax credit, the government cannot seize them for federal benefits programs.
If nursing homes or their staff obtain this money without the resident’s consent, this may be considered a form of elder exploitation.
If you have a loved one in a nursing home and are not sure not sure what happened to their stimulus payment, you should consider speaking with the facility’s management to make sure they have not unlawfully taken the payment.
If you believe a nursing home resident who is a Medicaid recipient has forfeited their stimulus check to a nursing home, you may file a complaint with the Office of the Nevada Attorney General here or with the Federal Trade Commission here. You may also call their hotline toll free at (888) 434-9989.