The Social Security Administration declared on April 15, 2021, that SSI beneficiaries without dependent children will obtain their stimulus payments automatically, with no need to submit any additional documentation.
The stimulus payment will be allotted to all SSI beneficiaries exactly the same manner as their regular benefits, via direct deposit, Direct Express debit card, or paper check. According to the Treasury Department, payments for SSI recipients were made no later than early May 2021.
Residents of nursing homes are able to qualify for the Economic Impact Payment, also widely recognized as the stimulus payment or EIP. Money was paid to taxpayers who submitted a 2019 tax return all through the 1st round of EIP checks.
The second round of EIPs has already been distributed, and the identical rules that were granted for nursing home residents apply here as well.
The disbursement is intended for the individual, not the residence. Through interrogations and feedback, the Federal Trade Commission found that certain nursing home establishments attempted to divert stimulus payments meant for their residents and utilize them for their own gain.
This primarily affected Medicaid patients. This was considered an indictable offense, and multiple Attorneys Generals are working to have the funds restored to residents.
Even though Medicaid-funded nursing home residents are requested to give up all their earnings to Medicaid, with the exception of a personal needs allowance as well as monthly maintenance needs entitlement for a non-applicant spouse (if appropriate), the stimulus check won’t be legally ceded to Medicaid.
That’s because Medicaid does not see the stimulus check as revenue. They think of it as a tax refund. Moreover, if the stimulus money is used within 12 months of getting it, it will not be counted as an asset.
As such, a nursing home Medicaid beneficiary can have custody of the funds in this period and this will not affect their Eligibility for Medicaid. Nevertheless, it is critical that the funds be expended in one year, or the funds will be counted against the Medicaid asset limit and may force one beyond the limit, culminating in Medicaid ineligibility.
Does The Payment Affect A Resident’s Eligibility For Medicaid?
No. Note that the second round of payments still carries the same guidelines as the first, declaring that every payout “made to a person under this title shall not be considered as earning or assets for a duration of 12 months from receipt.”
In other words, the Payment is not considered income. Nevertheless, if the money is not expended within 12 months, it might well be regarded as an asset (resource), affecting Eligibility for Medicaid. Furthermore, since the monies are not deemed income, they are not required to be paid to the nursing home as a portion of the residents’ Net Available Monthly Income (NAMI).
How Will The Payment Be Distributed To Residents?
The IRS would distribute payouts to the exact locations where the initial stimulus payments were distributed. The Payment is premised on the resident’s tax returns from 2018 or 2019, and it is released in the manner in which the resident submitted the tax return. For instance, if the resident requested a bank transfer, the payout will be deposited into that account.
Alternatively, a check or debit card would be couriered to the mentioned address on the latest tax return, either in 2018 or 2019. If a resident or resident representative is doubtful about where the Payment must have been (or will be) sent, they should look up the details at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment and/or contact the facility.
The second round of payments according to reports ended on January 15, 2021. Persons who did not receive their payment can claim the benefit on their tax payments during the following tax season. Persons who failed to file taxes and did not receive their second payment will be provided with a separate form by the IRS.
How Can The Funds Be Spent?
The payment must be expended according to the resident’s wishes. There seem to be no restrictions on the resources, and residents are free to spend them like they would if they lived in a community home. Residents can spend the Payout on items like a smartphone, a television, or even other electronic devices.
Residents must not be compelled or forced to splurge their check on items/services that Medicare and/or Medicaid will support, or on clinic bills.
If a resident has a representative with unrestricted access to the Payout (for instance, a Guardian or Power of Attorney), that representative must behave within the bounds of their lawful power as well as splurge the Payout as the resident instructs (if able) or as the resident might have wished.
If there is nobody to guide how the resources are spent, the facility must devote the cash to things that the resident will have desired, or if that is unclear, in a way that the resident would more or less benefit.
To be more specific, if reimbursement for a tax return was approved via direct deposit, the stimulus check would be transferred to the exact same checking account. Or else, the check will be mailed. Individuals who are not required to submit tax returns, including Social Security beneficiaries, will obtain stimulus checks in the exact manner as they do their Social Security payments.
As a result, if someone gets his or her Social Security payment through the use of a checking account, the stimulus check would also be delivered via direct deposit. Neither Medicaid nor a nursing home where a Medicaid beneficiary lives can accept stimulus check money to assist in paying for their services.