If you or your loved one is on Medicaid in Florida, there are strict income and asset guidelines to keeping on this program. The list of income and asset requirements are at this link.
But how does the recent payment of $1,200 from the Federal government effect your Medicaid?
We continue to receive questions about the impact the "Economic Impact Payments" (a/k/a "stimulus checks") stimulus check payments (up to $1,200 per person) will have on government benefits (i.e., Long-Term Medicaid). Because Congress classified these payments similar to tax rebates, the stimulus funds "shall not be taken into account as resources for a period of 12 months from receipt, for purposes of determining the eligibility of such individual (or any other individual) for benefits or assistance (or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance) under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds" (26 U.S. Code § 6409). This means that individuals who are receiving need-based government benefits will be able to accept these payments without putting their Medicaid (Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Medicaid or other benefits) at risk.
So the receipt of the $1,200 is not income for Medicaid purposes and will not be counted as an asset unless the assets exceed the applicable limit one year from the receipt of payment. As an example:
Mom, a single person, is in a Florida nursing home on Medicaid. Her assets cannot exceed $2,000. She has $1,000 in the bank and receives the $1,200 stimulus payment. This is not countable as income the month it is received and does not need to be paid to the nursing home as part of the patient's responsibility. The $1,200 must be spend from her account within a year.
Every year, Florida long-term care Medicaid has a recertification to confirm there has been no change in circumstances and that your income and assets are below the applicable limit. Just know that the receipt of the stimulus will not be a problem unless the money has not been spent. Importantly, you cannot give the funds away.
If you or your loved one is thinking about long-term care or is looking to protect assets, please visit our Medicaid page to learn more.