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Economic Stimulus Payments Not Income for SSI or Part D Help
The special economic stimulus payments authorized by Congress in February will not affect the benefits of persons receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Food Stamps, the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy or other federal benefits.
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has issued instructions explaining that the stimulus payments, amounting to as much as $600 for individuals and scheduled to be sent to tax filers over the next several months, do not count as income in determining SSI eligibility and will not count as a resource for two months following the month in which they are received. EM'“08029 (Feb. 28, 2008). SSA has also said that the same is the case for those benefiting from the Low Income Subsidy for the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit. EM-08028 (Feb. 22, 2008).
A person whose sole source of income is SSI is not eligible to receive a stimulus payment, but many SSI recipients who have at least $3,000 in other annual income, such as Social Security benefits, are eligible to receive the payments. However, as we previously noted, an income tax return must be filed in order to receive a stimulus payment.
Deceased Spouses Also Eligible
Individuals who died in 2007 or 2008 are also eligible for stimulus payments if they earned at least $3,000 in 2007. The surviving spouse or personal representative must file a tax return and the stimulus payment can be made payable to the surviving spouse.
Thanks to the National Senior Citizens Law Center for this information and cites.
For more information on the stimulus payments and what income tax forms to file, go to www.irs.gov or call 1-800-829-1040.
For the IRS's Stimulus Payment Schedules and Online Payment Calculator, go to: www.irs.gov/newsroom/article/0,,id=180247,00.html
For a tool by the AARP and the National Council on Aging that will fill out a 1040A tax form for you, click here.
For an earlier ElderLawAnswers article on the stimulus payments, click here.