By Erika Apelis

In this time of uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to be vigilant of your and your loved one’s rights. Many states, including Ohio, are reporting nursing homes and assisted livings taking CARES Act stimulus payments and informing families that this payment belongs to the facility because they or their loved one are on Medicaid.

This information is incorrect and, as I discussed in my prior article, these stimulus payments do not count as income or a resource for Medicaid qualification or renewals. In fact, in enacting the CARES Act, this was the reason these payments were classified as tax credits to avoid affecting an individual’s public benefits.

What do I need to do?

Watch your or your loved one’s bank statements and do not sign or endorse a stimulus check over to a nursing home. Ask your loved one if they signed anything recently and if they cannot recall, contact the nursing home or assisted living administrator. Ask the administrator directly if a stimulus check was paid to the facility.

What should I do if a facility took a stimulus payment?

First, ask for the return of the payment. If the facility refuses, you have several options including speaking with legal counsel and reporting the incident to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Federal Trade Commission.

If you have questions or need help with this issue, the spenddown of your stimulus check, qualifying for Medicaid or your annual renewal, please reach out to Erika Apelis at or 216-978-5353.