The Office of Attorney General’s Office in Massachusetts has issued an informational advisory to all residents of nursing home facilities (also known as long-term care facilities) and their family members. They want everyone to know that the recent Stimulus payments, also known as economic impact payment made under the CARES Act, are property to the residents.
There have been complaints made to the AG’s Office that some nursing home facilities were taking the stimulus payments made to their residents. Economic payments made pursuant to the CARES Act are considered a tax credit. As such, tax credits do not count as “resources” for such programs as Medicaid or MassHealth. Since these stimulus payments do not change a resident’s monthly patient pay amount and are not considered income, the residents are entitled to the full benefit of these payments. They are not the property of the nursing home facility. They belong solely to the resident.
MassHealth beneficiaries have a right to manage their own finances and nursing homes cannot require a resident to deposit these funds with the facility. A nursing home’s seizure of a resident’s stimulus payment could constitute misappropriation of the resident’s property and a violation of federal and state regulations governing these facilities.
If you have a loved one who is residing at a nursing home, check to be sure that their stimulus money has not been taken by the facility or that they have not been instructed to include the check value as part of their monthly patient pay amount. This money is for the resident and should be used to cover their quality of life needs.
Founded by nurse attorney and with offices in Acton, Burlington, and Sudbury, Massachusetts, Generations Law Group helps families navigate the complex areas of estate planning, elder law, and probate to inform and protect loved ones of every generation.