Nursing Home Residents Can Keep $250 Stimulus Payment

Nursing home residents on Medicaid who draw Social Security benefits will be among those receiving the one-time stimulus payment of $250. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 states that the $250 is not considered income and will not be counted as a resource for 10 months (including the month of receipt) in calculating eligibility for, or the amount of, benefits under any federal program or state program with some federal financing. This reference includes Medicaid as well as Medicare Savings Programs and the Medicare Part D low income subsidy. The $250 will also not count as gross income for tax.

According to Gene Coffey, staff attorney with the National Senior Citizens Law Center, Medicaid-enrolled nursing facility residents will be allowed to keep the $250 payment. Because it will not be counted as income, the payment received will not put a Medicaid-eligible resident over the state's income limit. In addition, Coffey notes that the language of the exemption means that a Medicaid nursing facility resident will not have an increase in his or her patient pay for the month it is received.

Source: ABA Elder Bar listserv, via the National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center Gazette, March 2009.