TOPEKA – (July14, 2020) – Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt is urging Kansans to use caution with regard to federal COVID-19 stimulus checks amid national reports that some nursing homes have been trying to obtain ownership of the economic impact payments sent to their residents who are on Medicaid.
The Federal Trade Commission has warned of facilities requiring that residents on Medicaid sign over their funds, claiming that because the person is on Medicaid the facility is entitled to the payment. But Congress provided for the impact payments in the form of a tax credit, which under federal tax law do not count as “resources” for the purposes of being eligible for federal benefits programs like Medicaid. Because of this classification, nursing homes cannot assert a right to the payment merely because the resident is on Medicaid.
The stimulus funds came as a result of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion economic relief package signed into law by President Donald Trump in March. Payments continue to be issued by the federal government. The CARES Act provided economic impact payments to American households of up to $1,200 per adult.
The attorney general’s office has not received complaints of this occurring in Kansas, but shares this information to alert Kansans to what has occurred in other states. Copies of alerts regarding this subject are available here from the Federal Trade Commission and Internal Revenue Service.
Any Kansan who has had their stimulus check improperly claimed by a nursing home may file a complaint with the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division online at www.InYourCornerKansas.org. Consumers may also contact the office by phone at (800) 432-2310 to request a paper complaint form be sent by mail.