Dear Colleague,

Please see this fact sheet, prepared by The Arc of the U.S, which has very helpful information for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) who have received Unemployment Insurance (UI) during the COVID pandemic. Some of the Unemployment Insurance policies passed by Congress resulted in unintended problems for certain individuals with IDD who received a high amount of UI -- often an additional $600 per week -- which resulted in the termination of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits.

The Social Security Administration (SSA) recently disseminated Emergency Message 20014, "Effect of COVID-19-Related Financial Assistance on SSI Income and Resources", which provides guidance, including the following:

  • With regard to SSI: Unemployment assistance is now not counted as either earned or unearned income for SSI. Unemployment assistance should be disregarded for purposes of the SSI asset (also called resource) limits of $2,000 for individuals. 

  • With regard to Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefits, or other forms of Social Security benefits: All COVID-19 pandemic unemployment assistance will be disregarded and not counted as income.

Please read the full fact sheet, for additional helpful information on the new guidance from SSA.

If you know anyone who has lost SSI or Social Security benefits due to receiving Unemployment Income during the pandemic, please contact your local SSA office to request that these benefits be reinstated. Please use this Social Security Office Locator to access the phone number of your local SSA field office. 
You may want to cite the SSA's Emergency Message 20014 and also provide this fact sheet. If your request is denied, please send me an email, with all of the pertinent details including the date and time of your phone call with Social Security; your zip code and the location of the SSA field office that you contacted; the name of the employee with whom you spoke; and exactly what that person said in response to your request. It is my understanding that the National Social Security Administration wants this process to be handled appropriately, and I will follow-up if any problems pertaining to individuals with IDD and Unemployment Insurance are reported to me.

Our appreciation goes to The Arc of the U.S. for their great advocacy on this important issue!
Please share this with others who may also be interested.

Thank you,

Bev


Beverly Roberts
Director, Mainstreaming Medical Care
The Arc of New Jersey
985 Livingston Avenue
North Brunswick, NJ 08902
Email: broberts@arcnj.org
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Click here to see The Arc of NJ's COVID-19 information and resource page. 
Click here to access information from the State Of New Jersey on COVID-19.