Listen to Lawrence…Stimulus Check Questions Answered

May 21, 2020

Dear clients and friends,

Here are a couple more of your questions and my responses:

I never received a $1200 stimulus payment…maybe my wife and I make too much money between our pensions and two social security checks ? Never thought of myself as “well off”?

We can all debate how much you have to earn to be “well off” but New Yorkers seem to always get the short end of the stick because it is such an expensive place to live. Be that as it may, there are strict income guidelines in order to be eligible for the stimulus check.

The legislation gives single adults who reported adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less ($150,000 for couples) on their 2019 tax returns a one-time check for $1,200; married couples who filed jointly will receive $2,400. Families will get an additional $500 for each child under 17.

The size of the check will decrease based on income for individuals who earned more than $75,000 based on their federal tax return for 2019. The payment for individuals will shrink by $5 for every $100 earned over $75,000. For couples who filed jointly, the reduction will start once they earn more than $150,000; for heads of household, at $112,500.

Individuals who earned more than $99,000 and couples who earned more than $198,000 jointly will not receive checks. The income cut-off for heads of households is $136,500.

By the way, if you have not filed your 2019 tax return, your 2018 return will be used.

Hi, Lawrence. I have enjoyed your emails. You helped get my mom on Medicaid to pay for her nursing home. I understand that the nursing home gets all of my mom’s income except for $50 per month. Do I also have to pay them my mom’s $1200 stimulus check? Thanks.

The bottom line is NO! Residents of nursing homes, adult homes, Assisted Living Programs, and other congregate care facilities have the right to keep their stimulus checks because they are exempt for Medicaid and SSI, at least for 12 months. After 12 months, they will be considered an asset, subject to the current limit of $15,750.

The problem is that you may not even know that the facility took mom’s money. Most social security recipients will have their $1200 stimulus check included in their monthly social security check. In turn, most residents in a Medicaid facility assign over their social security checks directly to the facility. The facility then simply deposits the bigger monthly check without realizing it. If so, a refund will be coming when you alert them.

I hope this helps.

Please pass this information to your family and friends and continue to keep your questions coming! If you are thinking about it, others are probably thinking about it too, so my answers will no doubt help you and many others. Let’s stay connected.