By Gregory Choi, Barbara Phair, Moriah Adamo and Nancy Levitin

In response to the COVID-19 Emergency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Director of the Division of Eligibility and Marketplace Integration has announced clarification on how the COVID-19 related payments will be treated in terms of Medicaid eligibility determinations.

During the COVID-19 Emergency, eligible individuals have begun receiving a second round of additional stimulus payments or “recovery rebates” in an amount up to $600.00 for single adult tax filers, $1,200.00 for married couples filing jointly, and an additional $600.00 per child under the age of 17. These stimulus payments are not taxable income, and therefore are also not countable as income for Medicaid eligibility purposes. Additionally, these stimulus payments are excluded as a countable resource by Medicaid for twelve (12) months following receipt; however, Medicaid will consider the stimulus payments retained for longer than twelve (12) months as a countable resource when evaluating the recipient’s continued eligibility for medical assistance.

Regarding the Unemployment Insurance Benefits (UIBs), those eligible individuals collecting such benefits will receive an additional weekly compensation payment of $300.00 during the COVID-19 Emergency. For purposes of Medicaid, the regular unemployment insurance benefit payments (i.e. traditional State UIBs and Mixed Earner Unemployment benefits) will continue to be counted as income. The additional weekly compensation payment of $300.00 will be disregarded as income when determining eligibility for Medicaid, and excluded as a resource for 12 months, if retained.

For post-eligibility budgeting purposes, both the stimulus payments and the Pandemic Unemployment compensation payments are not countable income for NAMI calculation purposes.

Any checks received on behalf of a decedent cannot be negotiated and must be returned.

Should you have specific concerns or questions about any of the above issues as they relate to your facility or family member, feel free to contact Gregory S. Choi, Esq., Barbara S. Phair, Esq., Moriah Adamo, Esq., or Nancy Levitin, Esq. at (516) 328-2300.