On April 16, both HUD and the IRS announced new guidance related to the stimulus checks of $1,200 received by individuals.

HUD clarifies handling of stimulus checks for income calculations

HUD updated their COVID-19 FAQs for Multifamily Housing providers to state that the stimulus checks, and the enhanced unemployment insurance assistance, should not be counted toward income. LeadingAge had urged the agency to issue guidance for affordable housing providers who calculate rent amounts and housing program eligibility based on a resident’s income.

Because the stimulus assistance is technically an advance tax credit, and because the up to $600 per week federal unemployment insurance payments issued under the CARES Act are temporary, they are not to be included in calculations of income. However, HUD notes that regular payments of unemployment insurance (issued by the state) are treated as income, as is customary under program rules.

IRS eases access to stimulus funds for SSI recipients

The IRS reversed itself again this week when it announced that Social Security Insurance (SSI) recipients will join the ranks of people who may not normally file taxes but will still automatically receive the stimulus checks. Other non-filers who do not need to take action to receive the stimulus funds are Social Security (SS) and Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipients.

These individuals will receive the stimulus check as they would normally receive their benefits, whether through direct deposit, Direct Express card, or paper check. The Department of the Treasury anticipates SSI recipients will receive these automatic payments no later than early May. Like HUD, the Social Security Administration will not consider Economic Impact Payments as income for SSI recipients, and the payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.

SSI Beneficiaries with Dependents

In order for SSI recipients who have qualifying children under age 17 to receive the additional $500 per dependent, the individual should go to IRS.gov and click on the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” button. The tool will request basic information to confirm eligibility, calculate and send the expanded Economic Impact Payment.

For those SSI recipients with dependents who use Direct Express debit cards, additional information will be available soon regarding the steps to take on the IRS web site when claiming children under 17.

To read the HUD guidance, click here. To read the IRS guidance, click here.