IRS Stimulus Payments Never Treated as Assets

Office of Medicaid

This announcement from MassHealth clarifies that IRS Stimulus payments (also called Economic Incentive Payments or Recovery Rebates) are not income in the month of receipt and unspent funds will not be treated as countable assets for 12 months from receipt and for the duration of the federal public health emergency. This means anyone subject to an asset test who still has unspent funds from any of the three rounds of the IRS payments including the 1st round which they may have received in April 2020 should not have these sums included in countable assets even though they were received more than 12 months ago.  

The application and renewal forms call for a recent bank statement to verify a bank balance. However, people with unspent stimulus payments in their accounts will need to supply additional verification to avoid having IRS payments erroneously counted as assets. The bank statement for the month in which the IRS payment was deposited is one form of verification, and until Sept. 15, 2021 self-attestation of assets is also authorized.

As far as we know MassHealth has released no written guidance other than the August 2021 announcement attached below that was distributed to subscribers to Massachusetts Health Training Forum emails and to the Enrollment Assisters.  

UPDATE: On Oct 17, 2022 In a set of FAQ on the Unwinding, CMS clarified that the IRS Stimulus payments should NEVER be treated as countable assets in  Q & A # 19 nor should any other pandemic-related income that SSA has determined are noncountable disaster payments. Oct 17, 2022 CMS FAQ #19 confirming EIP is never a countable asset