Could nursing homes be trying to take stimulus check funds from residents? Reports of this have surfaced in many states in which nursing homes are confiscating the stimulus check funds of those on Medicaid. Nursing homes have threatened that residents would be kicked out if they did not hand over the funds from their stimulus payments.
Now the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have made statements that this practice is prohibited. The CMS released a statement that announced nursing homes and assisted living facilities that take residents’ stimulus payments could face federal enforcement actions and even removal from Medicare and Medicaid programs.
The funds in the stimulus checks are tax credits provided by the CARES Act for recipients to use as they please, and cannot be seized by the government. They also cannot be counted as income when determining if one is eligible for government assistance or benefits such as Medicaid or SNAP.
What are economic impact payments?
As part of the economic stimulus package in the CARES Act, those of a certain income eligibility will be receiving a stimulus payment from the IRS.
If you have set up direct deposit with the IRS, you should have received your check within the first three weeks of April. If not, the check will be mailed and will take a bit longer to arrive. The funds could also come in the form of a debit card.
Who is eligible for stimulus checks?
People eligible are those who have filed taxes in 2019 or 2018 with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 or less. The payment amount will go down by $5 for every $100 earned over $75,000, and those who earned more than $99,000 for a single adult, or $198,000 for a couple, will not receive a check.
The IRS will take the information from your 2019 tax return, or 2018 return if you haven’t filed already, and will send the check to you. In most cases, there is nothing that you need to do.
People on Social Security, who have not filed taxes and who meet the income eligibility requirements, will receive a check.
The IRS stated that checks will be up to the following amounts:
- Single adults – up to $1,200
- Married couples – up to $2,400
- Children – up to $500
What you can do
If a nursing home has taken IRS stimulus payment funds from you or a loved one, contact your state attorney general and file a complaint to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).