As a result of the 2020 COVID pandemic, Congress signed into law by President Donald Trump the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Several questions have come up of how the additional income from these programs will affect Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) and Medicaid. We researched resources to help answer these concerns and this is what we found.
- Under “What Defines Income” COVID-19 stimulus checks both previous and subsequent payments do not count as income and have no impact on eligibility for Medicaid. https://www.medicaidplanningassistance.org/medicaid-eligibility-washington/#:~:text=The%20income%20and%20asset%20limit,couple%20and%20%243%2C000%20in%20assets.&text=For%20persons%20in%20this%20situation%2C%20Medicaid%20planning%20exists
- While the nation remains in a COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, states are prohibited from adopting more stringent eligibility criteria or increasing premiums, as conditions of receiving temporary increased federal Medicaid funding under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. https://www.kff.org/medicaid/issue-brief/key-issues-for-state-medicaid-programs-when-the-covid-19-public-health-emergency-ends/
Unemployment Insurance is expanded from 26 weeks to an additional 13 weeks or up to a total of 39 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits to self-employed/independent contractors. Additional $600/week for 4 months on top of standard Unemployment Insurance in 2020, and $300/week from January 2021 through March 14, 2021. All individuals seeking Unemployment Insurance still need to meet base requirements of the state. SSDI beneficiaries receiving unemployment under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation will not count as earned income and will not affect their monthly payments. https://www.nationaldisabilityinstitute.org/financial-resilience-center/employment/
Additionally, the CARES stimulus payments ($1,200 for an individual, $2,400 for joint filers and $500 per child, and the possibility of a third stimulus of $1,400) are considered “rebates against taxes imposed.” This means these payments are NOT taxable and will not be counted as income/resources for SSDI/SSI or Medicaid eligibility. Stimulus checks will not affect SSI and SSDI beneficiaries as it is rebate/treated similar to tax refunds. According to SSA, these economic impact payments will not be considered as income for SSI purposes. The stimulus checks will also be excluded from resources for a period of 12 months. In other words, as long as you spend the money within 12 months, it won’t be counted as a resource. Because SSDI benefits do not examine income or resources, stimulus payments won’t affect eligibility for these benefits. We are here to help you make sense of these turbulent confusing times, call us with questions or concerns 888-359-2366.