Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel Cameron said that Kentucky residents on Medicaid or living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be aware that some seniors had their stimulus checks unlawfully seized by nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
When the stimulus checks were approved, Cameron explained that they were labeled a tax credit by Congress under the CARES Act.
A Fox 19 Now recent article entitled “Nursing home, assisted living facility residents warned of possible financial exploitation of stimulus funds” explains that credits don’t count as “resources” for federal benefit programs, like Medicaid. As a result, Medicaid beneficiaries and residents of care facilities aren’t required to surrender their stimulus checks.
Even though Medicaid beneficiaries might go ahead and use their CARES Act stimulus checks on facility care, nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t seize those funds.
Due to the fact that some people getting Medicaid who live in these facilities are isolated from their family, government officials warn that they might be more vulnerable to being victims of financial exploitation.
“Medicaid recipients living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities could be more susceptible to financial exploitation, while isolated from family during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Cameron explains. “In many cases, federal stimulus checks provide assistance to Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19, and any unlawful seizure of those funds should be reported to our Elder Abuse and Medicaid Fraud Hotline at 1-877-228-7384.”
Families and beneficiaries should be certain that no facility has illegally taken their stimulus funds, explains Executive Director of the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control W. Bryan Hubbard.
“I encourage Medicaid beneficiaries and families with loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities to make sure facilities have not illegally seized stimulus funds," says Hubbard. "If you or someone you know is a Medicaid recipient and was forced to forfeit their stimulus check to a care facility, we encourage you to report the incident to our office.”
Complaints can also be filed online with the Federal Trade Commission.
Reference: Fox 19 Now (June 16, 2020) “Nursing home, assisted living facility residents warned of possible financial exploitation of stimulus funds”
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