Congress passed the CARES Act providing several supports to Americans in response to the impact of COVID-19 including Stimulus Payments and an Unemployment Compensation increase. Here is some additional information about how Stimulus Payments and Unemployment Compensation impact households that receive public benefits: SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), TANF (RI Works), CCAP (Child Care Assistance), Medicaid.
Stimulus payments (also called Economic Impact Payments):
Stimulus payments were made to most households that had filed 2018 or 2019 federal income taxes. The payments were typically $1200 for an adult and an additional $500 per minor aged child.
If your household receives public benefits and received a stimulus payment, the payment does not need to be reported to DHS (Department of Human Services) outside of the normal recertification time. As long as it is spent within a year it will have no impact on your benefit amount or eligibility.
Unemployment Benefit Compensation Boost:
Individuals receiving or applying for Unemployment benefits on or after April 4, 2020, through July 31, 2020, receive an additional $600 of Unemployment income with their weekly Unemployment benefit.
If your household receives public benefits, this income must be reported to DHS and may impact your benefit amount or eligibility.
SNAP: Unemployment income, including the boost, count toward income eligibility. Many households will no longer be eligible for SNAP with this increased income. For example, a household of 3 whose income goes above $759 a week would likely lose eligibility for SNAP.
RI Works: Unemployment income, including the boost, count toward income eligibility. Households will no longer be eligible for RI Works with this increased income.
CCAP: Unemployment income, including the boost, count toward income eligibility. Households may no longer be eligible for CCAP with the increased income. For example, a household of 3 whose income goes above $925 a week would lose eligibility for CCAP.
Medicaid: The CARES Act explicitly states that the increased Unemployment benefit has no impact on Medicaid eligibility.
If the increased income is not reported to DHS and you receive more benefits than your household was entitled to, those benefits will need to be repaid to DHS.
If your case closes due to the Unemployment increase and your income remains low once the increase expires, you can re-apply for benefits.