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‘Not just a horror story:’ FTC says some nursing homes are taking residents’ stimulus checks

Stimulus checks (Getty Images)

WASHINGTON — When Congress crafted the CARES Act, they designated the stimulus payments as a tax credit — meaning the government would never be allowed to seize them.

And that means the checks aren’t considered a resource for a federal benefits program.

So when the Federal Trade Commission learned some nursing homes are trying to take the checks from residents on Medicaid, they put out a notice warning facilities not to do so.

“This is not just a horror story making the rounds. These are actual reports that our friends in the Iowa Attorney General’s Office have been getting — and handling,” said Louis Greisman, an elder justice coordinator with the FTC “Other states have seen the same.”

If an assisted living facility has taken the check from you or a loved one, Greisman wants to help you get it back.

First, she recommends you contact your state’s attorney general’s office. Then, you should file a complaint with the FTC.

“Consider having a chat with the facility’s management to make sure they know which side of the law to be on,” Greisman said.

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