This week, Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody issued a Consumer Alert for Floridians with loved ones residing in nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Reports of these facilities seizing residents’ stimulus payments are beginning to surface nationwide. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), some facility operators are seizing the stimulus payments of residents on Medicaid—justifying the seizure by claiming the facility, not the individual, is entitled to the federal benefit.
CARES Act payments are classified as a tax credit, not a federal benefit, and are allocated to individuals not the facilities entrusted to care for them.
“This is disgraceful and completely unacceptable. As we have seen throughout this crisis, residents in these facilities are at a higher risk of suffering and dying from COVID-19—they should not have to carry the additional burden of worrying about their stimulus money being taken by those entrusted with their care. The federal government allocated these funds to individuals during these unprecedented times. If these stimulus funds were meant for facility operators, they would have been earmarked as such,” Moody said.
“Please check on your loved ones living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. Ask if their stimulus payments have been received. If they haven’t, ask the facility’s management if they are holding the benefits. If they are, contact my office immediately,” Moody added.