COVID-19 Stimulus Checks and Special Needs Families

Many of our clients have questions about the stimulus checks that the federal government plans to send out soon. Certified Family Home (CFH) and representative payees are concerned that their loved one’s stimulus will disrupt the loved one’s benefits. CK Quade Law is committed to assisting our clients by providing accurate and concise information to Idaho families with special needs. In that spirit, our law firm offers this disability-specific information on the recovery checks.

President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law last month, directing the federal government to send out checks to each citizen who filed taxes or who receives Social Security, including Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The check amount is $1,200 for single filers and $2,400 for joint flies. Those that are not on a Social Security program or have not filed taxes for the 2018 or 2019 year are ineligible for the refund. This includes persons who were claimed as dependents.  Each dependent child increases the check by $500 if they are younger than 17 for the tax filer.

Some people will not receive checks, including many people with disabilities. If a parent claims a person as a dependent aged 17 or older, that dependent person will not receive any cash payment.  This is true for both disabled and non-disabled dependent adults. The taxpayer who claimed an adult-dependent deduction also would not receive the additional $500 check.

If an SSI person is not a dependent, the Social Security Administration will disregard the stimulus check as income and will not be a countable resource for 12 months. 26 U.S. Code § 6409. Idaho’s Medicaid program will follow the same rules. Since the checks are not a form of income, a participant’s share of the cost will not rise.  We are actively monitoring the situation and will keep the Idaho special needs community informed of any updates.

For more information, please call us at (208) 367-0723 and set up a free half hour consult