Stimulus check theft: Some nursing homes stole relief funds from elderly residents, FTC report says

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Friday, May 15, 2020
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WASHINGTON -- Several states reported that some nursing homes and assisted living facilities have forced elderly residents on Medicaid to hand over their coronavirus stimulus checks, according to a Federal Trade Commission alert.

In a blog post published Friday, the FTC warned that these facilities are claiming that because a person is on Medicaid, the facility gets to keep his or her stimulus payment.

"But here's the deal: those economic impact payments are, according to the CARES Act, a tax credit," the blog post reads. "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."

This is true even if Medicaid pays for care and services at the facility.

The FTC is urging Americans to check in with loved ones on Medicaid in nursing homes.

Those whose family members have handed stimulus checks to these facilities should contact their state's attorney general immediately then file a consumer report with the FTC.