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Impact of Unemployment and Stimulus Payments on SSI/SSDI

Learn more about the impact of Unemployment Insurance and Economic Impact (Stimulus) Payments on SSI/SSDI benefits.

Unemployment Insurance (UI):

About UI

  • Eligibility is state-based.
  • Generally, eligibility requires that you are unemployed due to no fault of your own, which means that you lost the job due to lack of available work.
  • You must also meet work and wage requirements, sometimes called a base period. The “standard” base period uses the wages earned in the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters prior to the beginning date of the unemployment claim.

COVID-19

  • During the pandemic, some eligibility requirements are being waived and some benefits are being extended or expanded.  
  • Always check with your state’s unemployment office for details about eligibility.
  • As of December 2020: 
    • Those who qualify for unemployment benefits will receive an additional $300 per week for 11 weeks, starting at the end of December through March 14.
    • An additional 11 weeks have also been added to the total number of weeks people can collect unemployment benefits (on top of the 13 week extension that had been added by the CARES Act in March 2020).
    • States may also begin offering an additional federal benefit of $100 per week to people who have earned at least $5,000 a year in self-employment income. This would also end on March 14.

Unemployment Insurance (UI) and SSI/SSDI:

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • SSI is a needs-based program.

  • Recipients are required to apply for any other benefit they may be eligible to receive which includes UI

  • Recipients may be eligible for more income through UI than SSI

  • SSI would be suspended while receiving UI over the Federal Benefit Rate

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • SSDI is an insurance program

  • Unearned income and resources do not impact eligibility

  • Recipients may be eligible to receive both UI and SSDI

  • UI has no impact on the SSDI benefit amount or eligibility

Economic Impact (Stimulus) Payments and SSI/SSDI:

About Economic Impact Payments

  • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) authorized Economic Impact Payments, commonly referred to as stimulus payments.
  • Stimulus payments through CARES are not taxable.
  • Eligible individuals received the first stimulus payment of $1,200 ($2,400 if married filing jointly) plus $500 for each qualifying child in March 2020.
  • The second stimulus payment of $600 ($1,200 if married filing jointly) plus $600 for each qualifying child was sent to eligible individuals in December 2020.
  • In March 2021, eligible individuals received the third stimulus payment of $1,400 ($2,800 if filing jointly) plus $1,400 for each dependent claimed on their tax return (including adult dependents).

Eligibility

Stimulus Payments and SSI/SSDI

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

  • The stimulus payments will not count as income for that month

  • The stimulus payments will not be counted as a “resource” for twelve months from the month of receipt

  • SSI recipients do not need to do anything to receive stimulus payments

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)

  • The stimulus payments are categorized as unearned income

  • SSDI benefits are not impacted by unearned income

  • The stimulus payments will not have an impact on SSDI or Social Security Retirement benefits

  • The stimulus payments will also have no impact on Medicare premiums or eligibility

  • SSDI recipients do not need to do anything to receive stimulus payments

The National Health Care for the Homeless Council has a helpful FAQ document on the Economic Impact Payments: https://nhchc.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/FAQ-on-Economic-Impact-Payments.pdf