On May 15, 2020, the Federal Trade Commission issued a blog post warning operators of nursing homes and adult care facilities that they cannot require residents on Medicaid to turn over their stimulus checks to the facility. The FTC explains that under the CARES Act, those economic stimulus payments are considered a tax credit. Tax credits do not count as “resources” under any federal benefits program such as Medicaid. This means that the government cannot seize a tax credit. This also means that the resident’s receipt of a stimulus check will have no impact on the resident’s eligibility for Medicaid. The FTC warning:
- Nursing homes and adult care facilities cannot take the federal stimulus checks a resident receives just because the resident is on Medicaid.
- Any facility that has already taken stimulus checks, must immediately stop and return such funds to the appropriate resident.
- Consumers are encouraged to contact their state attorney general first and then the FTC if they are aware of a facility engaging in wrongful practice regarding these funds.
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