A recent statement from the IRS spells out a big win for senior citizens that are slated to or have already received stimulus checks during the current pandemic. The federal bureau that oversees taxation and the recent stimulus checks announced that the stimulus checks are for the recipients only. If the recipient lives in a nursing home or a senior care facility and owes money, the home does not have the ability to claim these checks.
The checks started going out in April and were part of the government’s response to help the economy in light of the closures brought about by COVID-19. Almost everyone who is eligible to receive one of these stimulus checks has already gotten theirs, but there are a handful of exceptions, especially when it comes to people without bank accounts and more vulnerable populations. Seniors certainly fit into this category.
Adding to the importance of this is the fact that there are talks of a second stimulus package in the works. There needs to be heightened awareness in order to protect elderly folk that would be eligible for a second disbursement.
One district attorney commented that “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.” Although nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be paid for their services, this needs to be done in a lawful way. Seizing these funds without going through a proper legal process is a criminal act.
So, even if a nursing home indirectly receives a stimulus check through direct deposit or another method, that money does not belong to the nursing home. It needs to go to the person that it was originally intended to go to.
Undoubtedly, this is going to create headaches. Finances can be muddled when it comes to residents of a nursing home. But that’s not a reason to let the wrong thing happen. The good news is that the government is growing more aware of the possibility of financial abuse even for those residing in a facility. This statement isn’t a solution, but it does indicate growing awareness. Not only are seniors more likely to get the money that they are entitled to, it highlights a growing concern when it comes to financial responsibility. Nursing homes and other care facilities have an obligation to keep their residents safe from abuse.
Elder abuse has been a concern for a long time, but it’s receiving a lot more attention now than ever before. While this isn’t something that anyone wants to see because of the nature of it–after all, no one wants senior citizens to be hurt or taken advantage of–it’s good that more attention is being given because that will help to prevent it or stop it in a lot of cases.
Finding care that you trust for an older loved one is essential for their continued health. This goes for physical and emotional health, but also for other areas, including financial health. You want good care that you can trust.