Above – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall is cautioning nursing home residents on Medicaid and their families to be vigilant against having their federal stimulus payments improperly taken from them.
While Medicaid recipients may have to sign over resources, in some circumstances, to nursing homes where they reside, that doesn’t apply to current federal stimulus checks from the CARES Act.
Congress classified the stimulus money as tax credits. Under tax law, tax credits do not count as “resources” for federal benefits programs, Marshall said. That means recipients may keep the stimulus payments, and that they may not be seized by nursing homes.
“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 said. “If this is happening, it needs to stop now.”
“These stimulus checks are rightfully and legally the property of the residents and must be returned,’’ he said. “Confiscation of these checks is unlawful and should be reported to my office.”
Alabama Nursing Home Association President and CEO Brandon Farmer issued this statement in response to Marshall’s release:
“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.
“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. 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. 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.”
Anyone who believes a resident who is a Medicaid recipient has forfeited their stimulus check to a nursing home is asked to contact the Alabama Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Fraud Control Unit at [email protected] or call 334-242-7300.