Identification Number:
EM-21058
Intended Audience:All RCs/ARCs/ADs/FOs/TSCs/PSCs/OCO/OCO-CSTs
Originating Office:DCO OPSOS
Title:Educating the Public About the Impact of Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments on Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Type:EM - Emergency Messages
Program:Title XVI (SSI)
Link To Reference:See Reference at the end of this EM.
 
Retention Date: March 13, 2022


A. Purpose
    This EM provides background to technicians about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Child Tax Credit (CTC) and advance CTC payments to support discussions about the impact of federal tax credits on Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

    This EM also instructs technicians to discuss the impact of federal assistance, particularly the CTC and advance CTC, with persons filing an SSI application and with SSI recipients who have a child or children.

B. Background
    The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 expanded the CTC for tax year 2021 only. For the first time, in tax year 2021, the changes to the CTC will help many families get advance payments of the credit. To qualify for advance CTC payments of the CTC, individuals (and their spouses, if they filed a joint return) must:

    A. Provide information to IRS by one of the following ways:
      · Filing a 2019 or 2020 tax return and claiming the CTC on the return;
      · By having used the IRS’s “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info Here” tool in 2020 to receive the Economic Impact Payment; or
      · Using a simplified online tool for non-filers, including the tool developed by Code for America in collaboration with the Department of Treasury (refer to C.3 for the link).
    B. And, meet all of the following criteria:
      · Lived in the United States for more than half the year (the 50 states and the District of Columbia) or filed a joint return with a spouse who lived in the United States for more than half the year;
      · Has a qualifying child who is under age 18 at the end of 2021 and who has a valid Social Security number issued before May 17, 2021; and
      · Has made less than certain income limits.
    NOTE: By signing for advance payments, an individual can receive the first half of the CTC in monthly payments this year. To receive the second half of the CTC, they must file a 2021 tax return in 2022. If an individual misses their opportunity to sign up for advance CTC payments this year, they can file a 2021 tax return in 2022 to claim the CTC as well as other tax credits they may be eligible for. The deadline for signing up for advance CTC payments using the tool developed by Code for America will be in mid-November.
C. Explaining the Impact of the CTC and Advance CTC Payments on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefits
    SSI recipients may not be aware that receiving either the CTC or advance CTC payments does not affect their eligibility for SSI. As a tax credit, the CTC and advance CTC payments are excluded from income and resources for up to 12 months under normal policy, as explained in EM-20014 REV 3 Section C.2. Per SI 00830.060 and SI 01130.676:
        · Exclude CTC and advance CTC payments from income for the month of receipt and
        · Exclude CTC and advance CTC payments from resources for up to 12 months beginning with the month following the month of receipt of the payment.

    If, in the course of taking an application for SSI benefits or interacting with SSI recipients, you discover the member of the public has a child or children, or may benefit from CTC, you will:
      1. Share that even if they did not file a tax return, they may still be eligible to sign up for advance CTC payments.
        2. Explain that the CTC nor advance CTC payments affect a recipient’s SSI benefit unless held beyond 12 months.

        3. If they ask for information on how to get advance CTC payments, explain that they can access a simplified non-filer sign-up tool, developed by Code for America in collaboration with the Department of Treasury, at www.getctc.org/en. The Spanish version of this tool is at www.getctc.org/es. Share that they can also file a 2021 tax return to claim the full CTC as well as other tax credits they may be eligible for.

    Direct all program-related and technical questions to your Regional Office (RO) support staff or Program Service Center (PSC) Operations Analysis (OA) staff. RO support staff or PSC OA staff may refer questions, concerns or problems to their Central Office contacts.

    References:
    EM-20014 REV 3 Effect of COVID-19-Related Financial Assistance on SSI Income and Resources
    SI 00830.060 Federal Tax Refunds and Advanced Tax Credits for SSI Income Purposes
    SI 01130.676 Federal Tax Refunds and Advanced Tax Credits for SSI Resources


    EM-21058 - Educating the Public About the Impact of Child Tax Credit and Advance Child Tax Credit Payments on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) - 09/13/2021