Policy Alert: Joint SSA and Treasury Consultation June 25
June 18, 2021
The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) will hold a joint tribal Consultation next Friday, June 25, 2021 from 1:00 - 3:00 EDT.
SSA is seeking consultation on the Tribal General Welfare Exclusion Act as it pertains to Internal Revenue Code and the Social Security Act. After it's April Consultation on Consultation, SSA received many comments from tribes concerned about GWE programs counting as income under the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program resulting in reduced or denied SSI payments. Earlier this year, SSA determined that payments made to tribal members who were experiencing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic using CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) funds were not income for the purposes of SSA programs.
While SSA is aware of the broader issue of GWE benefits negatively impacting tribal members' SSI and other SSA program eligibility, this Consultation is specifically seeking feedback on how those who were negatively impacted because their eligibility for SSA programs was reduced or denied due to receipt of CRF funds can be remedied and how SSA can avoid similar situations in the future. SSA has provided several framing questions for the Consultation and we recommend narrowly tailoring comments to these targeted issues.
Treasury recently published Draft FAQs for Payments by Indian Tribal Governments to their Individual Members Under COVID-Relief Legislation. The Draft FAQs provide general information on the federal income tax treatment and required reporting for these payments and refer to CARES Act, CAA, and ARP emergency relief payments collectively as “COVID relief payments.” Treasury is seeking your feedback on the federal income tax treatment of COVID relief payments.
The deadline for registering and requesting time for public comments is Wednesday, June 23, 2021. To provide written comments, please email email@example.com and AIAN.EC@ssa.gov by Friday, July 16, 2021.
For additional information, please see SSA and Treasury's Joint Consultation invitation. For any other questions or concerns, please contact Ellie Beckett, Policy Communications Specialist, at Ellie@nafoa.org or (202) 841-3373.
- Consultation Announcement: Dear Tribal Leader Letter
- SSA Framing Questions
- Register for the Consultation
- Draft FAQs