How Coronavirus Stimulus Payments Affect Your Household Income
The federal government’s economic impact payments and the state’s new stimulus payment may have you wondering how to calculate your household income, whether you want to apply for health insurance right now during special enrollment or report a change to your income.
There are a few different types of stimulus payments: federal stimulus payments, Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), and the Golden State Stimulus payment. It’s important to understand which payments you need to include while calculating your household income because this determines which programs you qualify for and how much financial help you get.
How do I calculate my annual income when applying for health coverage through Covered California?
In short, you don’t need to include any stimulus payments (the federal $1,200, $600, and $1,400 payments; and California’s $600 Golden State Stimulus payment) when you calculate your household income.
You do need to include the $300 per week PUC (except for Medi-Cal eligibility).
|Covered California with Financial Help||Medi-Cal|
|CARES Act tax credits or stimulus payments||No||No|
|Extra $300 per week PUC payment||Yes||No|
|Traditional unemployment benefits||Yes||Yes|
|Golden State Stimulus ($600 one-time payment)||No||No|
Note: Contact the IRS or a tax advisor for any additional questions about taxable income.
In 2020 and 2021, the federal government passed laws providing stimulus payments to people who met certain requirements. The first stimulus payment provided up to $1,200 per adult and $500 per dependent. The second payment provided up to $600 per adult and $600 per dependent child. The most recent stimulus payment, authorized by the American Rescue Plan, provides up to $1,400 per adult and $1,400 per dependent.
In addition, as of February 2021, Californians meeting certain requirements will receive a one-time $600 Golden State Stimulus payment after filing their 2020 tax returns.
Should you include the federal stimulus payments as part of your household income for Covered California?
No. While using the Shop and Compare Tool, you don’t need to add stimulus payments as part of your household income. The stimulus payments aren’t included in your taxable gross income and Modified Adjusted Gross Income to determine whether you’re eligible for any financial help available through Covered California. The same goes for determining your eligibility for Medi-Cal and CHIP.
Should you include the Golden State Stimulus $600 one-time payment in your household income for Covered California?
No. Do not count this payment as taxable income for Covered California. Note: Contact the IRS or a tax advisor for any additional questions about taxable income.
Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
Eligible individuals receiving unemployment benefits can receive additional unemployment compensation of $300 under the federal government’s CARES Act and American Rescue Plan. You’ll have to include these payments when you use the Shop and Compare Tool to find out if you qualify for financial help with a health plan through Covered California.
Because Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payments end Sept. 6, 2021, you should be careful to not count this income for the rest of the year in your annual income estimate while using the Shop and Compare Tool, or you could lose out on financial help. (You can also enter your monthly income.) People who have a health plan through Covered California currently will have to report a change within 30 days if they start getting these additional unemployment benefits.
Should you include the extra $300-per-week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) as part of your household income for Covered California?
Yes. All unemployment benefits (including the extra $300 per week PUC payment) are included in your taxable gross income and Modified Adjusted Gross Income for purposes of eligibility for financial help available through Covered California. Include these in your household income while using the Shop and Compare Tool.
Should you include the extra $300-per-week Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) in your household income for determining my eligibility for Medi-Cal and CHIP?
No. You should not include PUC in your income for determining your eligibility for Medi-Cal and CHIP (including C-CHIP and MCAP).
Should you include traditional unemployment benefits in your household income for Covered California or Medi-Cal or CHIP?
Yes. Traditional federal and state unemployment benefits are considered income for Covered California, Medi-Cal, and CHIP, and you should include it in the income you report while using the Shop and Compare Tool.