Marshall warns nursing home residents on Medicaid should get 100% of stimulus check; ANHA prepared to make sure that happens
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall issued a warning Friday that all nursing home residents on Medicaid should receive their federal stimulus money in full. The Alabama Nursing Home Association (ANHA) responded that they had already taken steps to make sure that happened.
“We are now beginning to receive a few reports of concern that some Alabama nursing homes may be attempting to take stimulus checks from residents who are Medicaid recipients,” Marshall announced.
“At this time, we are unaware of any facility where such diversion is occurring. We encourage the Attorney General to contact us any time he has a concern about nursing homes or has information he wants to pass along to our members,” responded ANHA President Brandon Farmer.
The Federal Trade Commission first issued a warning about the practice on May 15.
There does not yet appear to be any solid evidence that the nefarious practice Marshall is warning about has occurred in an Alabama nursing home. There has not been a news report published about an incident of the type.
Notably, as part of normal procedure, a number of Medicaid recipients sign over certain resources to the nursing homes in which they live.
National reports indicate that some shady facilities have taken advantage over the ensuing financial interconnectedness of resident and facility to try and confiscate all or part of some senior citizens’ $1,200 stimulus check.
The stimulus check is the money each American adult under certain income thresholds is receiving as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act passed by Congress to deal with the economic effects of the pandemic.
Importantly, Congress classified the stimulus money as a tax credit.
“Under tax law, tax credits do not count as ‘resources’ for federal benefits programs,” explained Marshall as to why stimulus funds were ineligible for a theoretical seizure by a nursing home.
“Since the announcement of the stimulus payment through the Social Security Administration, we have advised our members that any stimulus payment deposited to the accounts of nursing home residents was not to be used to reimburse the facility and is the sole property of the residents,” assured Farmer.
Marshall’s warning stops short of making the reports his office has heard into allegations.
“If this is happening, it needs to stop now,” Marshall remarked about the reports that have gotten back to him.
“We urge Attorney General Steve Marshall to let us know if he has any reports of diversion of residents’ stimulus payments so that we may clarify any misunderstanding that may exist,” commented Farmer.
“As we have done throughout this pandemic, we stand ready to work with local, state and federal leaders to support Alabama’s nursing home residents and employees,” Farmer concluded.