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Some nursing home residents aren’t getting their stimulus checks. Here’s why

Federal Trade Commission offers legal advice, assistance

Florida nursing home facilities take precautions to protect residents from coronavirus
Florida nursing home facilities take precautions to protect residents from coronavirus

The Federal Trade Commission is putting out a call to action for those in nursing homes or long term care facilities and their loved ones after the agency received reports that some facilities have taken stimulus payments intended for residents.

FTC Elder Justice Coordinator Lois Greisman released a statement Friday saying that reports claimed some assisted living facilities were keeping stimulus checks, claiming that if the resident is on Medicaid, the facility gets to keep the stimulus payment.

[RELATED: IRS to add hotline, callers can ask questions about stimulus checks]

“But here’s the deal: those economic impact payments are, according to the CARES Act, a tax credit,” Greisman wrote. “And tax law says that tax credits don’t count as ‘resources’ for federal benefits programs, like Medicaid. So: when Congress calls these payments ‘tax credits’ in the CARES Act, that means the government can’t seize them. Which means nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t take that money from their residents just because they’re on Medicaid. And, if they took it already, get in touch with your state attorney general and ask them to help you get it back.”

Greisman said that if you or a loved one have experienced this, tell the FTC at the following link: ftc.gov/complaint in addition to contacting your state attorney general.

“Need more back-up? Then let me get legal on you for a minute,” Greisman wrote. “You can go right here to get the federal tax law that says refunds aren’t considered a ‘resource’ in federal benefits programs. And you can click this link to get the Congressional Summary that talks about the funds as tax credits not countable as resources for federal government programs.”

More information for people who live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities can be found at the National Center on Law & Elder Rights.

“Again, though: if this has happened to you or a loved one, find your state attorney general’s office contact information at naag.org and talk with them right away,” Greisman said.

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