Topic: Understanding CARES Act impact on Benefits
Targeted Audience: Benefit Recipients, Providers, Payees
Key language in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) serves as a guidepost from which the impact on benefits can be better understood.
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any refund (or advance payment with respect to a refundable credit) made to any individual under this title shall not be taken into account as income, and shall not be taken into account as resources for a period of 12 months from receipt, for purposes of determining the eligibility of such individual (or any other individual) for benefits or assistance (or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance) under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds. 26 U.S. Code § 6409
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Individuals who are receiving SSI need to be aware of several key elements related to the stimulus payment:
- Stimulus payments are NOT taxable.
- Stimulus payments received by the individual that are initiated through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) will not count as income in the calculation of the individual’s SSI amount for that month(26 U.S. Code § 6409).
- Stimulus payments will not be counted as “resources” for a twelve-month period following the receipt of the funds (26 U.S. Code § 6409). It is recommended that these funds be kept separate from any other funds that you might have. This will help ensure that the stimulus funds do not get confused with other funds that you might have that are countable resources.
- I am not typically required to file a tax return. Can I still receive my payment?
Yes. The IRS will use the information on the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 to generate Economic Impact Payments to recipients of benefits reflected in the Form SSA-1099 or Form RRB-1099 who are not required to file a tax return and did not file a return for 2018 or 2019. This includes senior citizens, Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are not otherwise required to file a tax return.
Since the IRS would not have information regarding any dependents for these people, each person would receive $1,200 per person, without the additional amount for any dependents at this time.
Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Disabled Widow(er) Benefits (DWB), Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB)
The stimulus payment will have no impact on any of these Title II benefits: SSDI, DWB, CDB, and SSA Retirement. These benefits are classified as insurance benefits and are NOT impacted by unearned income. In addition, the stimulus payments will NOT be taxable.
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
There is no impact on SNAP benefits due to the receipt of a stimulus payment in accordance with 26 U.S. Code § 6409.
Medicaid recipients who received benefits before the COVID-19 crisis, or become eligible during the crisis cannot be terminated from Medicaid. On a case by case basis, states may change the category or eligibility, but terminations of coverage will not be allowed.
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
In accordance with the language in 26 U.S. Code § 6409, the stimulus payment will have no impact on TANF eligibility or resource levels for a 12 month period from receipt of the funds.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Paula Washek at 419-357-2870 or PWashek@clearwatercog.org.