Many individuals have sought financial assistance during the pandemic. Now, many are wondering if COVID-19 financial assistance affects Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility and payments. If you are currently receiving SSI benefits or are considering applying for SSI benefits, read on to learn more about a new measure put in place that affects SSI recipients.
On July 23, 2021 the Social Security Administration issued an Emergency Message declaring that certain COVID-19 related payments do NOT impact a person’s eligibility for, or payments of, Supplemental Security Income (SSI). This is huge news for our clients and means they can keep the money they received from the government because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As we previously discussed, SSI is different from Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) and it provides only income-based benefits. To qualify for SSI, a single individual must have less than $2,000 in resources, and the current maximum monthly SSI payment is $794. If a person receives too much money from other sources (either cash or in-kind), then they may not be eligible for SSI or their monthly SSI payment may be reduced.
List of COVID-19 Exclusions for SSI Eligibility and Payments
Under the Social Security Administration’s new Emergency Measure, the SSA has declared that it will no longer count most types of COVID-19 related assistance against either SSI eligibility or payment amount. A partial list of these COVID-19 payments include:
- Economic Impact Payments
- Unemployment Assistance (Regular and pandemic unemployment)
- State Stimulus Payments (Some exclusions may apply)
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Loan Forgiveness to Employers and the Self-Employed
- COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
- Emergency Rental Assistance Fund
- Emergency Assistance for Rural Housing / Rural Rental Assistance
- Homeowner Assistance Fund
- COVID-19 Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program
For example, if you received money from the government to cover your rent or your mortgage during the pandemic, then that money should not impact your ability to qualify for SSI or to receive maximum monthly SSI payments.
The Emergency Measure also reaffirmed that the Advanced Child Tax Credit was excludable from income and resources for 12 months as an advance tax credit for SSI purposes. The Advanced Child Tax Credit is a monthly payment to families that qualify for the Child Tax Credit. This credit can total up to $3,600, depending upon the age of the child.
Know and Understand Your Rights
Social Security Income and Social Security Disability Income can be overwhelming and confusing. It is important to know your rights, including your rights under this latest Emergency Measure. Balin Law can help make sense of it all and get you the benefits you deserve. Common questions we see around this new Emergency Measure include:
- What if my SSI was affected because I received (or am currently receiving) financial assistance?
- What should I do if I was denied SSI because I was receiving financial assistance from list list above?
If you have any questions about Social Security Income or Social Security Disability, leave a comment below. We also offer a free consultation at 866-49-BALIN (866-492-2546). Get the answers and benefits you deserve.