No Impact on Government Benefits
As a tax refund, stimulus payments will not be counted as income toward eligibility for means-tested government benefit programs such as Medi-Cal, CalFresh, CalWORKs, SSI, and public housing assistance. These programs will not consider the funds as a resource either as long as the payment is spent within twelve months of receipt.
Public Charge: No Negative Impact
Since these payments are considered tax credits which are not to be considered for the public charge test, stimulus payments have no negative impact.
New Restriction Against the Federal Government Reducing the Check to Pay Off Debts
Unlike the original round of payments, the second round of stimulus payments cannot be intercepted to pay directly any past-due taxes, student loans, Unemployment Insurance over-payments, or child support that is owed.
Filing a Tax Form to Receive Stimulus Payments
If your clients were eligible for the second stimulus payment but did not receive it by January 15th, they can claim it when they file their taxes for tax year 2020 in 2021. The 2020 IRS form will include a section for filers to claim the stimulus payment by requesting a Recovery Rebate Credit. The IRS may provide a form for persons without taxable income. Lower-income residents can use the IRS Free File Program.