COVID 19 counting of emergency assistance for SSI

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued policy guidance regarding counting of COVID-19 emergency assistance as income or resources for Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  With this guidance, Social Security is lifting the hold on cases involving unemployment, state stimulus payments, and those with any remaining CARES Act stimulus payments.

The following pandemic related assistance types are excluded as income and resources for SSI:  CARES Act, Consolidated Appropriations Act and American Rescue Plan Act stimulus payments; all regular and pandemic unemployment received during the pandemic period,; Paycheck Protection Act and Loan Forgiveness to Employers and Self-Employed persons; Economic Injury Disaster Program loans and grants to employers and self-employed persons,; Tribal payments from the Coronavirus Relief Fund and Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds; the Golden State Stimulus and Golden State Grant payments; COVID-19 Funeral Assistance; Emergency Rental Assistance Funds; Emergency Assistance for Rural Housing and Rural Rental Assistance; Homeowner Assistance Funds; Housing Assistance and Supportive Services Programs for Native Americans; Higher Education Emergency Relief Funds; Supporting Foster Youth and Families during the Pandemic; COVID-19 Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program; Emergency Assistance to Children and Families through the Pandemic Emergency Assistance Fund; Coronavirus Food Assistance Program Direct Payments to Farmers and Ranchers; Farm Loan Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers; and USDA Assistance and Support for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers; Ranchers, Forest Land Owners and Operators and Groups.

For state stimulus payments from Maryland and New Mexico are also excluded as income and resources.  Stimulus payments from other states are evaluated by the Social Security regional office.

Benefits that are counted as income and resources are: Paycheck Protection Program Wage Payments to Employees; Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Wage Payments to Employees; Hazard Duty Pay; Qualified Disaster Distribution or Use of Retirement Funds; and Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Benefits that are excluded as income or resources for reasons other than being disaster relief are: Temporary Expansion of Child Tax Credit for 2021; Qualified Disaster Loans to Retirement Plan Participants; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; Low Income Home Water Assistance Program; Corporation for National and Community Service; and Emergency Broadband Benefit.  (EM-20014 REV 3, July 23, 2021, and EM-21050, July 23, 2021.)