Some nursing homes are taking resident’s stimulus checks – but that's not allowed

The federal government says that some nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been taking resident’s stimulus payments. But this is not allowed.

News 12 Staff

May 22, 2020, 11:50 PM

Updated 1,420 days ago

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The federal government says that some nursing homes and long-term care facilities have been taking resident’s stimulus payments. But this is not allowed.
The $1,200 the federal government gave to Americans to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic can make a huge difference to the people living in these facilities. So, advocates say that they were not happy to learn that some facilities have been trying to keep the payments for themselves.
“We sent a newsletter out to all nursing home residents on Wednesday and our phones started blowing up immediately,” says Laura Brewer, a long-term care ombudsman for the state of New Jersey.
Brewer says that there have been some cases where the facilities have taken the checks and used them as funds for back payment.
“Which is completely inappropriate and not allowed,” she says.
Brewer says that it would not even be appropriate for a facility to suggest that the resident may use the stimulus money for back payment.
“That is not an appropriate use of these funds. They are for the resident for their personal needs,” she says. “We would investigate that and refer them to the Department of Health if they did that. Because that would be coercive.”
And to make matters worse, this is all happening at a time when long-term care facilities are closed to visitors and loved ones. Brewer suggests taken a step-by-step approach if this happens to you or a loved one.
First, confirm that the stimulus payment was made. This can be done on the IRS’s website. Next, speak with the facility. Confirm that the funds have been deposited in the resident’s personal needs account.
If the family gets any pushback, they should contact their state’s long-term care ombudsman.
In New Jersey, you can contact the long-term care ombudsman by calling 1-877-582-6995 or emailing ombudsman@ltco.nj.gov.
In New York, there are hundreds of long-term care ombudsmen assigned to facilities across the state. To find one, go to: https://aging.ny.gov/locationsearch/ombudsmen
In Connecticut, you can contact the long-term care ombudsman by calling 1-866-388-1888 or emailing ltcop@ct.gov.


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