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Some nursing homes took stimulus money from residents, FTC says

IRS demands families return stimulus checks sent to dead relatives
Posted at 2:05 PM, May 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-15 17:07:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Federal Trade Commission officials say they've received reports of nursing homes taking stimulus payments from residents.

The agency says some nursing facilities have reportedly told residents that because they're on Medicaid, the facility gets to keep their stimulus check, which was issued to provide relief amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the CARES Act, the stimulus checks are tax credits. Because of that, the payments do not count as resources for federal benefit programs, like Medicare, and the government cannot seize the payments, according to the FTC.

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This also means that nursing homes and assisted living facilities cannot take the payments away.

"If a loved one lives in a nursing facility and you’re not sure what happened to their payment, talk with them soon. And consider having a chat with the facility’s management to make sure they know which side of the law to be on," Lois Greisman, Elder Justice Coordinator at the FTC, writes.

If anyone fears that their stimulus checks have been taken by a nursing home or assisted living facility, they can reach out to their state attorney general for help getting it back. They can also file a complaint with the FTC.