Some nursing homes keeping residents’ stimulus money, federal officials warn

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If you have loved ones in a longterm care facility, be sure to find out whether they’ve received their stimulus check. 

State and federal officials warn that some nursing homes are keeping the money. That’s illegal.

Monica Bush was worried that had happened to her when she called FOX4 Problem Solvers. She had waited nearly a month for her old nursing home to forward the $900 remaining in her $1,200 stimulus check to her current nursing home.

“I was hoping to start rebuilding my life with it,” said the 46-year-old who has spent more than a year in nursing homes following having a tracheotomy after nearly dying from CPOD. 

Bush isn’t the only longterm care resident concerned about missing stimulus money. The Federal Trade Commission issued a public warning that some facilities were wrongly keeping the money as additional rent from Medicaid patients.

According to the feds, stimulus payments are considered “tax credits and nursing homes and assisted living facilities can’t take that money simply because the resident is on Medicaid.”

Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said Congress passed the CARES Act to put extra cash into peoples’ hands so they would spend it and stimulate the economy — not make extra payments to a nursing home. 

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office determined that the only time a nursing home can keep the money is if a resident has given written approval. 

Bush insisted she hadn’t given anyone approval to spend the remainder of her money. But every time she called her former nursing home for answers, “it just rings and rings,” she said.

That’s why Bush called FOX4.

We paid a visit to the Kansas City Center for Rehabilitation on Wornall Road. Furniture was being moved out of the facility, which had shut down its operation not long after Bush left.

An administrator said the nursing home had never meant to keep Bush’s money for so many weeks, but initially had trouble finding her.

However, the facility had since tracked down a new address for Bush and was in the process of forwarding her the remaining balance. 

A few days later, Bush told us she had her money in hand. 

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