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Stimulus checks and Medicaid eligibility: What you need to know

On Behalf of | Apr 11, 2020 | Medicaid & Medicare |

Many Americans are eagerly awaiting their stimulus check. Approved by the federal government as a response to the ongoing pandemic, these one-time payments are meant to help individuals and families support themselves during this time of uncertainty.

But what if you receive public benefits through a program meant for those with limited income? Will these stimulus payments end up pushing you above the income threshold, impacting your eligibility?

Stimulus checks will not count toward income

Federal officials recently issued guidance regarding stimulus checks and public benefits eligibility. As the National Health Law Program explains, this one-time payment authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is tax-free.

This stimulus payment should not have any effect on eligibility for certain benefits programs, including Medicaid. Essentially, it will not count toward your reported income. These payments also will not count as income for Supplemental Security Income benefits.

Others have expressed concern about Medicaid taking the stimulus payments, or seeing the money go straight toward nursing home costs. According to a news report, this does not appear to be something you need to worry about either.

The importance of planning

Financial planning is a critical piece of any long-term care strategy for aging Americans. By leveraging available public programs while acting deliberately with personal resources, it is possible to set up a robust financial safety net – one that offers peace of mind and a sense of security, for both the individual, their caregivers and loved ones.

Occasionally, external events require us to reevaluate these plans. Fortunately, in this case, the impact will likely be negligible.