Attorney General Daniel Cameron today warned Kentuckians of unlawful seizure of CARES Act stimulus funds by nursing home and assisted living facilities and encouraged Medicaid beneficiaries to report incidents of confiscated funds to the Office of the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse and Medicaid Fraud Hotline.
“Medicaid recipients living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities could be more susceptible to financial exploitation while isolated from family during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Attorney General Cameron. “In many cases, federal stimulus checks provide assistance to Medicaid beneficiaries experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19, and any unlawful seizure of those funds should be reported to our Elder Abuse and Medicaid Fraud Hotline at 1-877-228-7384.”
In some circumstances, Medicaid beneficiaries sign over financial resources, including social security or pension funds to nursing homes or assisted living facilities. However, the current federal stimulus checks are not required to be surrendered. Under the CARES Act, Congress designated federal stimulus checks as a tax credit, and according to tax law, credits do not count as “resources” for federal benefits programs like Medicaid. While Medicaid beneficiaries may choose to apply their stimulus checks toward facility care, these funds may not be seized by nursing homes or assisted living facilities.
Executive Director of the Attorney General’s Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control W. Bryan Hubbard stated, “I encourage Medicaid beneficiaries and families with loved ones in nursing homes or assisted living facilities to make sure facilities have not illegally seized stimulus funds. If you or someone you know is a Medicaid recipient and was forced to forfeit their stimulus check to a care facility, we encourage you to report the incident to our office.”
The confiscation of stimulus funds can be reported to the Attorney General’s Elder Abuse and Medicaid Fraud Hotline at 1-877-228-7384. The Attorney General also recommends filing a complaint online with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint.