Following concerns that businesses may be taking advantage of those who received an economic impact payment, the Internal Revenue Service recently notified nursing home and other care facilities that the recent stimulus payments received by many Americans generally belong to the recipients, not the organizations providing the care. This means that these payments don’t count as resources that have to be turned over to nursing homes whose care is provided by Medicaid.
This is the case even if a nursing home or other provider receives the individual’s payment either by direct deposit or check. Additionally, these payments don’t count as a resource for Medicaid eligibility purposes or for other federal programs for up to 12 months from receipt of the funds. These funds also don’t count as income for the purposes of these programs.
The Social Security Administration has released guidance on this issue, specifically stating that the economic impact payment isn’t a social security benefit; therefore, the payment belongs to the social security recipient. For that reason, representative payees are required to provide the funds to the social security beneficiary on the beneficiary’s request.
As for taxes, the economic impact payment is considered a tax refund for benefits purposes, including Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps).