Assisted Living Liability: Residents Forced to Pay FEMA?

Assisted Living Liability Residents Forced to Pay FEMAAssisted Living Liability: Residents Forced to Pay FEMA?

Even though Hurricane Sandy hit over two years ago, many individuals are still feeling its effects today. Some of these individuals are residents of a New York City assisted living center. They recently received letters from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) demanding that they repay thousands of dollars in Hurricane Sandy aid that they received.

According to FEMA, the aid they provided was only meant to be used for temporary housing; however the state put assisted living residents up in emergency shelters. Residents are understandably upset, stating that the aid they received was used on food and clothing right after the storm, both of which were in short supply.

According to CBS New York and The Associated Press, one resident, Robert Rosenburg questioned the logic behind this development, asking, “If I wasn’t eligible, then why give it to me in the first place?” Rosenburg states that FEMA knew they were living in an adult home, and knew that their shelter was being paid for by the state. According to Rosenburg, there was no dishonesty on the part of the residents or the nursing home.

FEMA has reported that it is obligated by law to collect improper payments, and that the residents can request a compromise, or establish a payment plan, in addition to filing an appeal. A legal aid group is reportedly helping the residents file appeals.

FEMA spokesperson Rafael Lemaitre states, “FEMA remains committed to working with applicants and ensuring they have an understanding of the options available to resolve their debt, which includes making a payment, filing an appeal, requesting a compromise, and establishing a payment plan.”

At DigniCARE, we understand that the assisted living industry is evolving to meet the needs of tomorrow’s seniors, brining opportunities for growth while at the same time presenting new challenges for your operation. Please contact us today at (855) 883-6306 to learn about the products and services we offer for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and continuing care retirement centers.

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