Relief Payments from the CARES Act Will Not Be Counted as Income for Those in Means-Tested Programs

We’ve had several questions regarding how the economic impact payments (EIP) coming from the federal government per the Coronavirus Aid, Relief,and Economic Recovery (CARES) Act will affect people’s eligibility for Medi-Cal, and other means-tested programs. The good news is that, in all cases, the economic impact payments coming from the federal government per CARES Act will NOT be counted as income, and will NOT impact your eligibility. Also, for 12 months, the EIP will not be counted as assets. So as long as the payment doesn’t sit in your bank account for over 12 months, this payment should not affect your eligibility for these programs:


If you, or someone you know, encounters any problems with your Medi-Cal redetermination due to the stimulus payment, contact your local Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP). We at California Health Advocates would also like to hear about it at


Additional Resources

Q&A on How Federal Unemployment Benefits and Economic Impact – This document created by the National Council on Aging, provides information on federal unemployment benefits and how they may or may not affect your eligibility for means-tested programs.

COVID-19 Economic Impact Payments (Stimulus Checks) – created by Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County, this fact sheet answers many important questions about how one will receive their stimulus check, whether it will affect other benefits, and addresses a diversity of situations.

Up-to-date COVID-19 Information – from Western Center on Law and Poverty, current information on food, health, housing and financial security issues re COVID-19 and the CARES Act.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.