The SSA published an Emergency Message (EM 21050) on July 23 entitled “Special Processing Instructions for Applying Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Income and Resource Exclusions to Pandemic-related Disaster Assistance.” This EM will be in effect until January 23, 2022 and updates an emergency message from April 2021.
EM-21050 defines which payments qualify as disaster assistance and therefore according to SOSSCR, “should be excluded from countable income and resources for SSI purposes.” Many types of unemployment benefits, including the stimulus checks, are considered disaster relief. Additionally, the SSA staff has been instructed to, “contact their Regional Offices about other types of relief that should be considered disaster assistance.” (SOSSCR).
It can be incredibly difficult to sort through which finances affect and do not affect SSA benefits. For more information, reach out to a tax professional to determine which income qualifies as disaster relief. For more information, reach out to Viner Disability Law.