The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reminding long-term-care residents and their families that nursing homes are NOT entitled to coronavirus relief checks. That has not stopped a lot of nursing homes from taking checks from elderly residents on Medicaid.
“If you have a loved one in a nursing home who’s on Medicaid, it would be a good idea to check on the status of that check,” said Leah Barron, a founding partner at Brown & Barron, a law firm specializing in nursing home law.
The FTC has received reports of nursing homes across the United States that have had residents sign over their checks. There is potential for confusion, because there are rules governing “resources” that can be collected to pay for long-term care. The coronavirus relief check is not one of those resources.
As the FTC posted in its blog: “According to the CARES Act, those economic impact payments are considered tax credits and tax credits don’t count as “resources” for federal benefits programs like Medicaid. That means that nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t take that money from residents simply because the resident is on Medicaid.”
The FTC says that the coronavirus payment will not account toward the Medicaid asset limit for 12 months. To qualify for Medicaid in Maryland the limit is $2,500, but the recipient has a year before the relief payment will count toward that cap, so they can spend it down any way they see fit.
If you believe your nursing home has taken a coronavirus relief payment, you can file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).
Our attorneys at Brown & Barron, LLC focus on representing nursing home residents who have been neglected or abused. We know first-hand how these facilities function, and just how vulnerable residents are to injuries. If you believe you or a family member has suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, we invite you to contact our team as soon as possible to learn more about your rights and options.
To learn more about how the coronavirus is affecting nursing homes and their residents, visit our coronavirus resource center.