News

The newly approved COVID-19 stimulus payments have already started arriving – typically $600 per person.

Lois C. Greisman, an Elder Justice Coordinator at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), advises that if you, or someone you care about, lives in an assisted living facility or nursing home, you may want to ensure that they get their stimulus money – not some medical or care provider. Because the bill funding the second round of Economic Impact Payments (EIPs) has now been signed into law. The money — right now, $600 per person who qualifies — is being sent out. And, like last time, the money is meant for the PERSON, not the place where they might live.

In the first round, which she calls EIP 1.0, we know that some nursing facilities tried to take the stimulus payments intended for their residents, particularly those on Medicaid. Which wasn’t, shall we say, legal, and kept some attorneys general busy recovering those funds for people.

Now, with EIP 2.0, we would hope those facilities have learned their lesson. But, just in case, let’s be clear: If you qualify for a payment, it’s yours to keep. If a loved one qualifies and lives in a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s theirs to keep. The facility may not put their hands on it, or require somebody to sign it over to them. Even if that somebody is on Medicaid.

It would be worth a quick chat with management of the facility in question, just to remind them that the rules are the same this time through. And if you hear about a nursing home or assisted living facility being grabby about Economic Impact Payments, tell your state attorney general right away. And then tell the FTC at www.ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

If you need assistance with understanding any aspects of the latest stimulus payments, contact the nearest Seniors Vs. Crime office in The Villages for advice or assistance. Seniors Vs. Crime also has a Speakers Bureau that will gladly come to your club, church, or group to speak about scams. To schedule a presentation, contact any of the offices. There is never a charge for their services. Seniors Vs. Crime can be reached at:

  • The Fruitland Park Police Department Annex in the Moyer Recreation Center in The Villages – (352) 674-1882
  • The Marion County Sheriff’s Office in The Villages – (352) 753-7775
  • The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in The Villages – (352) 689-4600, Extension 4606
  • The Wildwood Police Department Annex at Brownwood in The Villages – (352) 753-0727

During this pandemic, our offices are closed for walk-in complaints. Please call before you come to our offices. Hours may vary or may require appointments. You can also file online, or by calling 1-(800)-203-3099. Our staff will call you back and you can file your complaint over the phone.

Volunteers at all four offices are ready, willing and able to assist you. To keep up with the latest scams, LIKE ‘Seniors vs. Crime Region 4’ on Face Book. Hablamos Español. Por favor pregunte por Yolanda. Martes a Viernes: 10:00 A.M. a 2:00 P.M., (352) 689 4606.