Stimulus Checks for People on Medicaid
Medicaid has strict income and asset requirements. Once approved, a recipient may receive income through Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and/or health care coverage with costs offset by the state and federal governments. People receiving these benefits really depend on them for their basic needs. Any disruption can cause extreme hardship.
The receipt of the IRS stimulus check by Medicaid recipients has some scared as to whether they will lose their benefits. This could be tragic for residents in nursing homes who cannot afford to pay the private pay nursing home rate without Medicaid.
Fortunately, stimulus checks are not being counted as “income” against the Medicaid income eligibility standard and, for up to twelve months, are not being counted against the Medicaid asset standard. Thus, the recipient has up to a year to spend the check down so as to keep countable resources under $2,000.
However, it is important that the money not be given away to anyone for less than fair market value. If the money is given away, Medicaid will assess a transfer of assets penalty which will terminate benefits. Thus, it is important to keep good records in the event Medicaid wants verification of how the funds were spent.
The stimulus check can be a real benefit as long as it does not interfere with Medicaid benefits.
If you have any questions about the stimulus check or Medicaid benefits, call The Estate & Asset Protection Law firm for assistance.