How Your Stimulus Check Affects Medicaid Eligibility in NY?

The Covid-19 pandemic has been extremely detrimental not only to the wellbeing and health of the public, but has enhanced financial strain among a great extent of the population. Due to safety measures taken to prevent the spread of the pandemic many people are unable to return to work in-person. Additionally, many small businesses are closing due to their inability to produce enough financial revenue to stay afloat. Unemployment rates have soared, as corporations and businesses are unable to compensate their workers due to the lack of customer purchases. This only further produces a cycle of financial hardship by minimizing transactions and financial profits. The pandemic has certainly made a grand impact on the financial state of the nation’s economy. In order to supplement the lack of income that has arisen from unemployment, the government has decided to provide stimulus checks for families under a certain income branch. These checks are used to put food on the table, pay for rent, utilities, and other necessities. The stimulus checks provide a sense of stability during such an uncertain time by alieving the financial burden many members of society are currently facing. However, not all people are able to benefit from these stimulus checks, meaning the sense of relief is disproportionate and does not encompass a great extent of the population that is in need of financial assistance. Thus far a stimulus check was distributed to the population in April of 2020. The stimulus check was worth $1,200 for those who earned a gross income below $75,000 and up to $2,4000 for couples who had a combined gross income of $150,000. The check covered individuals who filed as independent on their 2019 income taxes. Those receiving Social Security benefits for retirement, disability, or SSI were eligible to receive the checks as long as the value of the check did not exceed the income limits on Social Security. However, this stimulus check did not cover a massive portion of the population and neither will the stimulus check distributed in January of 2021.

Impact of Covid-19 Stimulus Check on Medicaid Eligibility

Do dependents get stimulus checks?

Individuals over the age of 17 who filed as dependent on their 2019 income tax did not receive a stimulus check despite the fact that they meet all of the financial criteria to demonstrate need for assistance. Many of these individuals are current college students and have lost their jobs due to the surge of unemployment during the period of financial instability caused by the pandemic. The next stimulus checks will not be distributed to any adult dependents regardless of the fact that they need to pay for the same necessities that independents pay for. College students and many dependent adults are struggling to make ends meet in the effort to pay for a higher education, afford to pay for rent, purchase groceries, and pay their utility bill. According to Forbes, approximately 15 million dependents consisting of college students and disabled adult dependents will once again be overlooked and not given financial assistance in the form of a stimulus check. Additionally, elderly individuals that make a negligible income are claimed as dependents by their children, meaning these elderly parents also do not receive the stimulus payment. In the effort to provide financial aid to dependents in need the Heroes Act was brought into discussion. This act proposed that all full-time students under the age of 24 as well as other adult dependents would be able to receive the stimulus check. However, due to the fact that this act would cost a massive sum of money, the Heroes Act was denied. Recently, the Cash Act was proposed in an effort to provide the public with $2,000 of financial support instead of $600. This would greatly benefit those facing eviction, hunger, and financial hardships. However, it is very unlikely that this act will be passed by the Senate, as it is also extremely costly. The only way that young individuals can receive their stimulus check is if they choose to file their 2020 taxes independently. If their parents list these individuals as dependents, then the young individuals will no longer be eligible for the check. These young Americans will claim the Recovery Rebate Credit from the Cares Act on their 2020 financial paperwork. This credit can be used by young individuals who do not usually file taxes, but still meet the criteria by making less than the $12,400 gross income standard. Any single individual under the age of 65 making less than $12,400 is not mandated to file taxes and therefore would allow these individuals to meet the benchmark for the Recovery Rebate Credit.

How do I know if I am eligible for the next stimulus check?

The big question of concern is how the stimulus checks will impact Medicaid recipients, as additional income usually has a negative effect on Medicaid eligibility. However, in this case the stimulus checks will not be considered as income. When it comes to Medicaid nursing home residents they must pay their net income to the nursing home once all of the deductions have been removed from their gross income. The Social Security Administration has shed detailed information regarding the impact of stimulus payments on nursing home care and the asset limit Medicaid recipients may hold. It has been stated that the stimulus checks will not count against the asset limit nor will they be considered as income for SSI recipients. These payments will not be accounted for in the Medicaid eligibility over the span of 12 months. Therefore, the stimulus checks will not have a negative impact on seniors and individuals who are on Medicaid. The stimulus checks will not impact the resident’s monthly payment, meaning they will not exceed the allowed patient pay amount. In order to guarantee that you will remain eligible for Medicaid you must reduce your savings to under $2,000 after a year of receiving the stimulus check. In following this financial guidance, Medicaid residents will meet all of the criteria in terms of their monthly payment and can spend the money they received from the stimulus checks in any manner they please. If you qualified for the first stimulus check, you will also be receiving the second stimulus check. However, if you did not file taxes in 2018 or 2019, you still have the opportunity to obtain the stimulus check if you filed for taxes in 2020 and met all of the financial criteria. The second stimulus check will be $600 per person and have already begun being distributed to those in need. The checks are being directly deposited to those eligible, or are being sent as physical checks. The third option for receiving your stimulus check comes in the form of EIP cards. Due to the fact that the value of the check is reduced from $2,000 to $600 the chances of getting a partial payment have greatly been reduced. Your checks will not be seized from you and the government cannot tax them,meaning you have the ability to use this money however you see fit.

For further Medicaid eligibility and stimulus check information please contact the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn at 718-333-2394 to know your rights when it comes to the Covid-19 stimulus checks.