Stimulus Checks and Arizona Medical Assistance Eligibility

May 11, 2020

Residents are starting to get their stimulus checks. For some, it is causing confusion and concern. Many worry that the funds will impact their financial status and may negatively impact eligibility for benefits. Many have questions.

If you have a resident who gets a stimulus check, please note the following (AZ) policy.

The Federal stimulus payment is considered a tax refund. This means that the income is excluded for all AHCCCS Medical Assistance programs (MA606CC).

If your resident has an Income Only Trust (Miller Trust), and the stimulus check gets automatically deposited in the IOT – don’t panic. The trustee has two options:

1) Leave the stimulus payment in the trust. As a general rule, excluded income deposited into an Income-Only Trust may only be disbursed for the reasons outlined in ARS §36-2934.01.

2) Remove the full amount of the excluded Federal stimulus payment. The full amount of the funds may be disbursed from the trust to the customer without affecting eligibility. If the trustee chooses to do this, there must be clear documentation of the disbursement and records should clearly indicate that the disbursement is for the return of the customer’s Federal stimulus payment.

When the stimulus payment is held separately from other funds (including trust funds), it is excluded as a resource for up to one year after it is received.

We know this can be a confusing time, as we are getting many calls about how the stimulus check will impact eligibility.  Benefit Results is your partner in helping to explain the policy and the potential impacts on your residents.  Contact us for more information and assistance.