A number of troubling reports have emerged around the nation of nursing homes and assisted living facilities requiring or pressuring residents into signing-over their economic impact payment checks. These facilities have claimed that they were entitled to payments sent to residents who receive Medicaid. However, economic impact payments are tax credits that do not count as “resources” for federal benefits programs. Therefore, providers and their staff are not authorized, nor permitted to pressure residents, into surrendering economic impact payments. Doing so, could result in criminal, civil, or administrative sanctions.
The Division of Quality Assurance is not aware of this practice having occurred in Wisconsin. Providers who become aware of economic impact payments being taken from clients by their staff, or by other providers, must report these occurrences by filing a DQA complaint or submitting a report through the Misconduct Incident Reporting system.
DQA will investigate allegations or occurrences in Wisconsin and will take appropriate regulatory action to protect affected clients, including referral to the Wisconsin Department of Justice, to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, and to the Federal Trade Commission