TN 13 (08-11)
GN 02820.025 Effect of the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (ARRA) on SSI Income and Resources
Public Law 111–5
A. Introduction to the ARRA of 2009
On February 17, 2009, the President signed the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (ARRA). This section describes the policy and procedures for how to treat the payments that result from the following provisions:
The one-time $250 Economic Recovery Payment (ERP);
An increase of $25 weekly in an individual’s unemployment compensation benefit; and
The Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP).
NOTE: This section includes the policy and procedures for how to treat the payments that result from the ERP, the increase of $25 weekly in an individual’s unemployment compensation benefit and the HPRP. For SSI income policy and procedures covering the Making Work Pay (MWP) tax credit, the first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, and deemed first-time homebuyer’s tax credit, see SI 00830.060 “Making Work Pay and First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credits for SSI Income.” For SSI resources see SI 01130.676, Federal Tax Refunds and Advanced Tax Credits for SSI Resources.
B. Policy for one-time $250 ERP for SSI income purposes
Exclude the one-time $250 ERP from income.
C. Policy for ERP for SSI resource purposes
Exclude the one-time $250 ERP from countable resources for 9 months following the month of receipt.
NOTE: Most individuals received the ERP in May 2009. We do not have legal authority to certify to Treasury an original ERP for payment after December 31, 2010. Refer to EM-11024 SEN dated 04/19/11 on how to handle non-receipt of ERPs certified to Treasury for payment prior to 01/01/11.
D. Policy for ERP SSI resource exclusion
Exclude the ERP from countable resources for 9 months following the month of receipt without regard to whether the individual or couple is over the resource limit. For purposes of these instructions, develop the exclusion only if the individual or couple is over the applicable resource limit.
If the SSI individual or couple is over the SSI resource limit:
review the Economic Recovery List Query (ERLQ) to determine if the individual received an ERP. Not all individuals have access to this query. For more information regarding this Query see GN 002820.010E; and
exclude the ERP from countable resources for 9 months following the month of receipt if the ERLQ confirms the issuance of the ERP.
For purposes of applying this exclusion when determining countable resources, assume that the individual retained the full $250.
For example, if the individual receives the one-time $250 payment in May 2009, we do not consider the ERP a resource from June 2009 through February 2010. If the individual retains any of the funds, consider the funds as a countable resource beginning in March 2010.
NOTE: If the SSI individual or couple is still over the SSI resource limit after applying the ERP exclusion, determine if the MWP tax credit exclusion also applies. For more information regarding the effect of the MWP tax credit on resources, see SI 01130.676, Federal Tax Refunds and Advanced Tax Credits for SSI Resources.
E. Procedure to document the ERP SSI resource determination
Document the resource determination electronically according to the procedures in GN 00301.285 through GN 00301.289.
F. Policy for the extra $25 weekly unemployment compensation benefit for SSI income purposes
If the State adds an extra $25 to an individual’s weekly unemployment compensation check, consider the extra $25 as part of the unemployment insurance benefit and count it as unearned income for SSI purposes. For the policy and procedures for unemployment insurance benefits, see SI 00830.230.
IMPORTANT: Some States are not updating the Interstate Benefit Inquiry Query (IBIQ) or SSA Access to State Records Online (SASRO) with the extra $25 weekly payment. Also, some States issued retroactive payments to individuals for the period before they automated the extra $25 payments and have not updated the IBIQ or SASRO with the date and amount of the retroactive payment. For the procedures to follow when verifying unemployment in those States, see GN 02820.025H in this section.
G. Policy for the extra $25 weekly unemployment compensation payment for SSI resource purposes
Normal resource counting rules apply to the extra $25 unemployment compensation payment. Therefore, if the individual retains the extra unemployment compensation, it becomes a countable resource as of the first moment of the month following the month of receipt.
H. Procedure to verify the extra $25 weekly unemployment compensation benefit for SSI purposes when the amount is not shown on the IBIQ or SASRO
Assume the individual’s weekly unemployment check includes the extra $25 payment, or he or she received the payment in a separate check, if all of the following apply:
extra $25 weekly unemployment compensation benefit is not shown on the IBIQ or SASRO; and
individual alleges receiving a benefit that is exactly $25 greater than shown on the IBIQ or SASRO.
Contact the State unemployment agency to verify the extra $25 weekly compensation benefit and the dates and amounts of any retroactive payments made prior to the automated extra $25 weekly compensation benefit per SI 00830.230.
I. How to treat funds received from the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP)
1. Background on HPRP
The “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009”, provides funds for homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing through HPRP. Under HPRP, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides funds to grantees who administer HPRP at the local level. For more information on HPRP, visit Homelessness Resource Exchange .
2. Description of the HPRP assistance provided
HPRP assistance is limited to individuals who meet HUD’s definition of “homeless” or “at risk of becoming homeless.” HUD grantees pay all assistance payments directly to vendors such as landlords or utility companies. They will not pay cash benefits directly to SSI recipients.
The assistance is limited to the following:
short-term rental assistance;
medium-term rental assistance;
security deposits and utility deposits;
moving cost assistance; and
motel and hotel vouchers.
Depending on the individual’s level of need, HPRP assistance may cover all of the rent or utility bill, or only a portion. To help individuals achieve housing stability, HPRP may also provide case management, housing search and placement, legal services, and credit repair.
3. Policy for HPRP income and resource counting
Assistance provided by HPRP to SSI recipients is countable as outside in-kind support and maintenance (ISM) when the payments are for any of the 10 shelter items listed in SI 00835.465D.1.
Any assistance provided by HPRP for items other than the 10 shelter items listed in SI 00835.465 is not countable as ISM or income. For example, HPRP payments for legal services or moving expenses are not countable as income. HPRP grantees pay the assistance directly to vendors, so SSI recipients will receive no cash. Therefore, the assistance does not result in any countable resources for SSI purposes.
4. HPRP Documentation requirements
Field office employees should accept the individual’s allegation that he or she received assistance from HPRP, and the amount and months that he or she received the assistance. If the individual is unable to provide the amounts and dates of the assistance, ask the individual to obtain this information from the local HPRP organization (the grantee), the landlord, the utility company, or the entity providing the service.
Document the assistance in MSSICS on the LISM screen. Complete the LISM screen using the normal procedures for outside ISM. List the SOURCE of the ISM as “HPRP.” For non-MSSICS cases document the assistance on an SSA- 5002 (Report of Contact) and fax the completed SSA-5002 into the appropriate electronic folder. Do not retain the paper form after you document the issue electronically.
GN 02820.001 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): Introduction
GN 02820.010 Title II eligibility under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
GN 02820.020 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Eligibility under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA)
SI 01110.003 Resources limits for SSI benefits
SI 00815.350 Proceeds of a Loan
SI 00830.230 Unemployment Insurance Benefits
SI 00810.310 How to Compute Countable Income
SI 01330.000 Deeming of Resources
SI 01320.000 Deeming of Income
SI 00835.350 Computation of In-Kind Support and Maintenance from Outside a Household (Including Vendor Payments by a Third Party Outside the Household)
SI 00835.465 ISM and Households – Household Costs
MSOM MSSICS 010.021 ISM (LISM)
SI 00830.060 Making Work Pay (MWP) and First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credits for SSI Income
SI 01130.676 Federal Tax Refunds and Tax Credits Under the 2010 Tax Relief Act