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SSA Issues Updated Guidance on SSI Exclusion for Pandemic-Related Financial Assistance

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has updated its guidance on pandemic-related financial assistance to clarify that these funds will never be counted as a resource for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility.

The most common pandemic-related payments received were the three federal stimulus payments issued in 2020 and 2021, including:

  • $1,200 for every individual with a Social Security number, plus $500 for each dependent child under age 17. Payments were issued automatically to SSI and Social Security recipients in April or May 2020;
  • $600 for every individual with a Social Security number, plus $600 for each dependent child under age 17. Payments were issued automatically to SSI and Social Security recipients at the end of December 2020; and
  • $1,400 for every individual with a Social Security number, plus $1,400 for each qualifying dependent of any age. Payments were issued automatically to SSI and Social Security recipients in April 2021.

The guidance specifies that pandemic-related assistance such as these federal stimulus payments do not count as income for SSI and do not count as a resource indefinitely, meaning for as long as the recipient saves the SSI payments.

The guidance further advises individuals whose benefits were denied or terminated due to pandemic-related assistance being incorrectly counted as a resource for SSI to appeal the decision.

Click here to view the new fact sheet and find links to the full list of excluded payments, including pandemic unemployment benefits and state and local stimulus payments.

Contact: Annalyse Komoroske Denio, akomoroskedenio@leadingageny.org, 518-867-8866