What Parents Should Know About Stimulus Payments

Stimulus Check with the Statue of LIberty

Families of people with intellectual or developmental disabilities take on many roles, from loving parent or guardian to advocate, cheerleader, and financial steward. Some days it seems there are new rules, challenges and uncertainty around every corner.

Over the past year, we’ve been faced with a pandemic, sheltering in place, and new legislation meant to provide relief to those financially impacted by the pandemic.

Today, a new round of stimulus payments is being distributed to help ease the financial hardships many American families have experienced since the onset of the pandemic.

Here are five things you need to know about stimulus checks: 

  1. Stimulus checks (economic impact payments) come from the Internal Revenue Service and are not a Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefit. The Social Security Administration does not consider economic impact payments as income for SSI recipients and these payments are excluded from resources for 12 months.
  2. Stimulus checks belong to the beneficiary named on the check. Whether or not the beneficiary has a developmental or intellectual disability is insignificant. 
  3. Stimulus checks may not be checks. Those who didn’t provide banking information and whose tax return was processed at certain IRS service centers will receive a prepaid debit card instead of a check. Cards come in a plain white envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services. Do not mistake these stimulus cards for preapproved credit card offers. Also, stimulus prepaid debit cards can be used at the point of purchase, to withdraw funds at ATMs or to transfer funds to a bank account.
  4. Stimulus checks cannot be gifted to AbleLight (and other organizations like AbleLight may have similar guidelines). Medicaid requires that AbleLight accept Medicaid payments as full satisfaction for all funded services and prohibits providers from accepting additional payments. In addition, donations from people we support could be viewed as coerced or otherwise influenced, which makes accepting these donations risky to AbleLight. 
  5. Have a conversation with your loved one about how they would like to use their stimulus funds and follow their direction, including giving them their funds to use as they prefer.

Still have questions about stimulus checks?

If your loved one has not yet received their stimulus payment or you need additional information, check the status of the payment with the IRS. Visit the Social Security Administration coronavirus page for more information on stimulus funds for SSI recipients.