Does the stipend impact benefits?

We are often asked about how the stipend might affect a caregiver’s benefits, so we thought it would be a good thing to lay out in writing, at least as much as we know at this time. Unfortunately, it is not simple and straightforward, as each public benefit has a different story and some are grey. If there are problems a caregiver has with a public benefit issue, their AFC social worker would help them resolve the issue.

The good news

MassHealth: Not counted towards caregiver’s income.
Section 8: Not counted towards calculating the rent.
Federally subsidized public housing: Not counted towards calculating the rent.
SNAP: Not counted if the AFC client is not included as a member of the SNAP household.

The bad news

State subsidized public housing: Stipend is counted towards calculating the rent.

The inconclusive news

SSI/SSDI: We’ve received different answers from the Social Security Administration (SSA) and it is unclear from reading regulations as to whether it would be counted. We tell caregivers that if they are concerned, they should probably err on the side of caution and assume it will be counted. We are still working with our contacts at the SSA to get a clearer answer, so as soon as we have one, we will share it with you.