By early April, all eligible people should have received their third economic impact payment (EIP) from the IRS given as extra financial support during the COVID pandemic. For those receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), it’s important to know that the Social Security Administration will not count any of the EIPs as income, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months after receipt.
As our partners at the National Center on Law & Elder Rights (NCLER) shared in their recent fact sheet, many SSI recipients received their first EIP under the CARES Act in May 2020. They are now approaching the end of the 12-month exclusion period for the first EIPs starting on June 1, 2021, when any remaining CARES Act EIP funds they still have which puts them over the $2,000 resource limit ($3,000 for an eligible couple) will be counted as a resource, and they will lose their eligibility for SSI for that month. SSI recipients and their payees must take care to be sure they have spent down their CARES Act EIP funds before 12 months have passed since they received the payment. Since EIP funds are not the same as SSI benefits, individuals are not limited in what they can spend these funds on and can spend down on whatever they wish, including on gifts and charitable contributions.
For more information, see NCLER’s fact sheet: SSI Recipients and Economic Impact Payments.