Federal stimulus payments adversely affecting some SSI recipients

| May 20, 2021 | SSI

Are you familiar with the phrase “Catch-22?” It is an expression used to describe a situation that seems highly conflicting and even unresolvable, a kind of “I lose either way” proposition.

Reportedly, some Social Security Income recipients across the country can instantly relate to the term.

Here’s why: The series of federal stimulus payments recently delivered into Americans’ savings accounts are non-taxable credits. Yet some SSI recipients receiving them are thereafter penalized by the Social Security Administration for exceeding program eligibility limits.

Which means this for those claimants: If they don’t receive the money they are lawfully entitled to, they obviously lose out in a starkly unfair manner. And if they do receive stimulus benefits, they are financially punished by the government via a repay imperative.

There’s that Catch-22.

One recipient caught in the web of SSA confusion (one report suggests that some select government employees are simply misunderstanding the stimulus program and making mistakes) notes the resulting frustration. His SSI benefits are now slated to be cut over a substantial period based on an agency assumption that he exceeded the eligibility limit last year and was overpaid.

“You’re going to give me a stimulus check,” he says, “and you’re penalizing me for having this money.”

The challenges that individual is facing are happening “to a disturbing number of people,” notes one subject commentator. An SSA spokesperson concedes that the stimulus payments are not deemed as income for disabled persons and that individuals suffering detriment owing to agency confusion should proactively contest government repayment demands.

That can of course be easier said than done. Questions or concerns regarding SSD/SSI eligibility, challenges or other related matters can be directed to a proven and empathetic disability law attorney.