The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the first-time
homebuyers tax credit of up to $8,000. On November 6, 2009, the President signed the
Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 (WHBA) which extended the
deadline for purchasing a home under the ARRA first-time homebuyer tax credit. WHBA
also established a smaller tax credit, up to a maximum of $6,500, for homebuyers who
have lived in their principal residence 5 out of the last 8 years and purchased a
new principal residence. These individuals are considered “deemed” first-time homebuyers
for purposes of the tax credit.
The first-time homebuyer’s and deemed first-time homebuyer’s tax credit are not excluded
from income by law and are considered unearned income for SSI purposes. Only the amount
of the tax credit the individual receives back in the form of a refund is considered
The individual or couple must file a tax return to obtain either the first-time homebuyer’s
tax credit or the deemed first-time homebuyer’s tax credit.
The first-time homebuyer’s tax credit and the deemed first-time homebuyer’s tax credit
may be claimed by qualified individuals purchasing their home on or after April 9,
2008, and before May 1, 2010. However, the taxpayer is also eligible to receive the
tax credit if the taxpayer enters into a written binding contract before May 1, 2010,
to close on the purchase of a qualified home before July 1, 2010. Additionally, certain
individuals on qualified extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days
between December 31, 2008 and April 30, 2010 may qualify for the tax credit on a home
purchased before May 1, 2011 or July 1, 2011, in the case of an individual who signs
a written, binding contract before May 1, 2011.
The amount of the tax credit which is countable unearned income for Part D Extra Help
is the same as for the SSI program.
Instructions for determining the amount of countable income from these tax credits
are found in the SSI instructions in SI 00830.060.
NOTE: For information about how these tax credits are treated under resource rules, see