• Kathy L. McNair, Esq.

Medicaid Recipients Have a Little More Time to Spend Stimulus Money

The one-year deadline for nursing home residents on Medicaid to spend down their first round of stimulus checks is here, but they may have a little extra time.


In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act authorized $1,200 stimulus checks to most Americans, including Medicaid recipients. Another round of $600 checks was authorized in December 2020, and $1,400 checks were ordered issued in February 2021. The stimulus checks are not considered income for Medicaid recipients, and the payments have been excluded from Medicaid’s strict resource limits for 12 months.


While the one-year deadline for spending down the first round of checks is here, another COVID-19 bill gives beneficiaries more time. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed in March 2020 provides that if you were enrolled in Medicaid as of March 18, 2020, the state cannot terminate a recipient’s benefits even if there is a change in circumstances that would normally cause the benefits to be stopped. The law states that the recipient’s Medicaid coverage must continue through the end of the month in which the Secretary of Health and Human Services declares that the public health emergency has ended. The public health emergency is set to end April 20, 2021, but it will likely be extended.


While Medicaid recipients may have a little extra time, they shouldn’t delay too long in spending down the money if it has pushed them over the resource limit, which is $2,000 in most states. The following are examples of what a Medicaid recipient may be able to spend the money on without affecting their eligibility:


  • Make small repairs around the house.

  • Make a payment toward a debt

  • Update personal effects. Buy household goods or personal comfort items. Buy a new wardrobe, electronics, or furniture.

  • Buy needed medical equipment, see a dentist or get eyes checked if those items aren't covered by insurance.

  • Make a payment toward a pre-paid funeral, cemetery plot, or gravestone.

  • Pay for services you may need, including legal services.


If you need guidance, please let us know. Senior Solutions, Attorneys at Law, is an Elder Law and Estate Planning law firm, serving the Greater Boston, Massachusetts area, since 2001. We are ready to help you with Medicaid Planning, Estate Planning, Probate, Guardianship & Conservatorships, Special Needs Trusts, and Fiduciary Services. Take the first step and contact us in any of the following ways: Phone: 617-489-5900 or email: kmcnair@seniorsolutionsinfo.com, or use this link to set up a free consultation: https://seniorsolutions.as.me/FreeConsult.


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