Nursing Homes Do Not Have a Right to Resident Stimulus Funds
Unfortunately, financial abuse is a common problem in nursing homes across the country, including right here in Illinois. And after thousands of reports to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), we now know that some nursing home facilities and long-term care homes are attempting to take pandemic stimulus payments intended for residents. Residents who rely on Medicaid remain easy and effortless targets even though these facilities have no right to claim residents’ stimulus checks.
The FTC said in a January 4, 2021 statement:
“If you qualify for a payment, it’s yours to keep. 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.”
The FTC was forced to raise a similar alarm after residents were told to sign the first round of stimulus checks sent in April 2020 over to their care provider. Administrators used scare tactics and threats against residents, such as discontinuing Medicaid benefits or access to the vaccine when available.
What You Can Do If A Nursing Home Requests Your Stimulus Check
Since there is still limited visitation with loved ones residing in long-term care facilities right now due to COVID-19, be sure you are still checking in with daily phone calls and stopping by for safe social distancing chats if available. Ask to see what happened to your elder’s stimulus check payment and if anyone at their facility has kept the check or requested Medicaid payments from it. It might even be a good idea to schedule a conversation with the facility’s management to ensure they know you have questions about the funds. Other residents may not have someone looking out for their financial well-being, and you could serve as an advocate for them. Often, when outsiders request more information regarding possible fraud or financial misconduct, it slows or lessens any inappropriate activity that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
If a facility has already requested a resident’s funds or taken them, first inform the state Attorney General’s office, and you can also seek legal counsel with Levin & Perconti.
Levin & Perconti: Legal Voice for Victims of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect in Illinois
Suppose someone you know has had their rights violated, and their stimulus funds were stolen by a nursing home care provider in Illinois. In that case, the attorneys at Levin & Perconti want to help. With over half a billion dollars recovered for our clients, our legal team, located in Chicago, is committed to bringing justice to families whose loved ones have been financially harmed by others.
Please, contact us now for a FREE consultation at 312-332-2872 in Chicago, or toll-free at 1-877-374-1417.