The Federal Trade Commission reminded Americans living in nursing and assisted living homes and their families that stimulus checks being dispersed to millions of Americans this month are intended for people, and not their nursing homes.
The notice came after reports surfaced that nursing homes were collecting stimulus checks from residents during the first stimulus payout in the spring.
According to Lois C. Greisman, elder justice coordinator for the FTC, some nursing homes were asking residents to sign over their spring checks.
“We know that some nursing facilities tried to take the stimulus payments intended for their residents…particularly those on Medicaid,” Greisman wrote. “Which wasn’t, shall we say, legal, and kept some attorneys general busy recovering those funds for people.”
Greisman said that if a nursing home asks for a resident’s stimulus check, contact the state attorney general and the FTC.
“If a loved one qualifies and lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s theirs to keep. The facility may not put their hands on it, or require somebody to sign it over to them. Even if that somebody is on Medicaid,” Greisman wrote.
Two weeks ago, Congress authorized that most Americans making less than $75,000 a year will get a direct payment of $600 (couples making less than $150,000 a year will get $1,200). Heads of households making $124,500 annually also will receive the full $600.
Those making $75,000 to $87,000 ($150,000 to $164,000 for couples) will get a prorated check. Those making over $87,000 ($164,000 for couples) will not receive a check.
Last week, the federal government began dispersing payments via direct deposit. The federal government has also started sending out paper checks and prepaid debit cards for those whose banking information are not on file.
Justin Boggs is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @jjboggs or on Facebook .