Many people who will get a stimulus check under the CARES Act may also receive public benefits. You may be worried about whether getting a stimulus check will change your eligibility for public benefits. If you get a public benefit that is "means tested" (based on how much money you make or property you own), the stimulus check should not be counted as income or a resource for twelve (12) months. Below is a more detailed explanation of how stimulus checks may impact specific public benefits.
Will my stimulus check be counted as income in the calculation of my SSI benefit?
No. The stimulus check will not be counted as income and will not reduce your monthly SSI benefit. The stimulus check funds will be treated as a refund and will not be counted as a resource for twelve (12) months. People who receive SSI benefits and get stimulus check funds should spend the funds within twelve (12) months.
How will the stimulus check affect my SSDI benefit?
The stimulus check funds will not impact your SSDI benefit.
SNAP/Food Stamps & TANF
Will DHHS reduce my SNAP or TANF benefits if I receive a stimulus check?
Stimulus check funds will not impact your SNAP or Food Supplement benefits. Stimulus check funds will not impact your eligibility for TANF and will only be counted as a resource after twelve (12) months. People who receive TANF benefits and get stimulus check funds should spend the funds within twelve (12) months.
Can I apply for general assistance if I received a stimulus check? Will that check count as income?
4/29/2020 Update: Yes - you can still apply for general assistance if you get, or are expecting to get, a stimulus check. Stimulus checks will not be counted as an available resource for general assistance during this state of emergency in Maine. The town may ask you to show when you get the payment, and the amount of the payment. They may also ask you to track that stimulus money, and how you are spending it. But if you are not able to verify or prove your income or spending because of a COVID-19 related reason, it should not be held against you. The town should process your application based on what you are able to tell them about your income and expenses during this time.
Need more information about applying for GA? Check out our article: General Assistance in Maine
Will I still be eligible for MaineCare if I receive a stimulus check?
The stimulus check should not have an impact on your eligibility for MaineCare. For many people, there is no asset limit (a cap on the amount of money you have in the bank, or value of property you own) in order to qualify for the program. Even for people that do have an asset limit, the stimulus check funds should not be counted towards that limit for twelve (12) months. If you get a notice that you are losing your MaineCare please call PTLA right away.