Resource Round-Up: Economic Impact (COVID-19 Stimulus) Payments

Posted by on Apr 13, 2020

The rapid spread of COVID-19 has our entire society sprinting to keep up with new realities, and taking action to respond and manage the impact. Our Oregon IDD advocacy community has been working to keep abreast of that information flow, and share it with people in the ways that they need. The federal Economic Impact Payments are the stimulus funds coming to most Americans to help mitigate the personal financial impact of COVID-19’s protective measures. For members of our community, this is good news, quickly followed by a host of questions centered around what this money will mean for you and the disability and medical benefits you may rely upon.

This is an evolving situation, with evolving guidance, so please always look for our most recent on post on this subject. Today, our best information is that this emergency funding will not affect your financial eligibility for OHP or Social Security.

If you receive SSI only and you didn’t file a tax return for 2018 or 2019 income, or you just started to receive SSDI, you will need to go to this site and complete a simple request form. This will help the federal government know that you’re out there, and how to get your payment to you. Here is the information you will need to have ready to enter:

  • Full name, current mailing address and an email address
  • Date of birth and valid Social Security number
  • Bank account number, type and routing number, if you have one
  • Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN) you received from the IRS earlier this year, if you have one
  • Driver’s license or state-issued ID, if you have one
  • For each qualifying child: name, Social Security number or Adoption Taxpayer Identification Number and their relationship to you or your spouse

A note: If you can, do submit bank account information via this site to have your funds routed to you electronically; this should significantly reducing the amount of time you will have to wait to receive the money.

So, do you need to be concerned about maintaining your benefits, receiving this additional money? Our best answer, from scouring the internet and our local trusted sources at the Work Incentives Network, is that these payments will not be considered countable income, when calculating financial eligibility for Social Security. From the site Disability Secrets:

For SSI eligibility purposes, the stimulus check won’t count as income to you, and you don’t need to report it as income to the Social Security Administration. Plus, it’s not taxable. In addition, the stimulus money won’t count as a resource (asset) unless you still have all or part of it 12 months after receiving it.

For SSDI eligibility purposes, income and assets don’t matter, so the stimulus check will have no effect.

Your stimulus money is not subject to garnishment, even for back taxes or student loan defaults. However, if you owe past-due child support payments that have been reported to the Treasury Department, your stimulus check will be reduced to pay the past due amount.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also has a webpage devoted to the Economic Impact Payments, which I would recommend checking in on periodically. Do note, however, that as of today (April 13th), the website was last updated on April 1st (two weeks ago), and contains outdated information. So, do check in, but also pay attention to the date the information was released.

What about Medicaid benefits? Good news: OHP/Medicaid eligibility and services will not be terminate during the COVID-19 federal crisis, following terms outlined for states accepting additional COVID-19 crisis funding. And, as the Oregon Health Authority assures, “the stimulus and unemployment increase will not affect your OHP eligibility. This money will not be counted when you are applying or reporting a change in your household.” It appears that this emergency funding will not affect your financial eligibility for OHP or Social Security.

We hope this helps you put some fears aside during this time of great anxiety. We will continue to keep on top of developments in this area, as they unfold. As we come across additional resources or links, we will update this post. Should there be significant policy changes, we will create a new post to communicate the essential information.