RBD Updated Information Income Inclusions & Exclusions COVID-19 Benefits

We've received a number of questions regarding benefits provided through various programs supporting residents who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This HUDBlast provides a summary of the benefits for these programs. In some cases, we are still waiting for HUD to provide specific guidance, but I thought I would tell you what I know so far. 

Emergency Rental Assistance
While HUD has provided guidance for the Public and Indian Housing Programs, HUD has not provided guidance for the Multifamily Housing Programs. PIH guidance indicates that ERA is not included in the income calculation. HUD says:

Under section 501(j) of Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, Pub. L. No. 116- 260 (Dec. 27, 2020), assistance provided to a household shall not be regarded as income and shall not be regarded as a resource for purposes of determining the eligibility of the household or any member of the household for benefits or assistance, or the amount or extent of benefits or assistance under any Federal program or under any State or local program financed in whole or in part with Federal funds. 

We will let you know when HUD publishes guidance specific to the Multifamily Housing Programs. 

Unemployment Compensation
The CARES Act introduced the following three types of unemployment compensation:  

Section 2102: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). (1) the assistance is available to a covered individual who was unemployed, partially unemployed or unable to work ending on or before March 14, 2021; (2) the duration of PUA benefits was changed from a maximum of 39 weeks to 50 weeks; and (3) in cases where an individual received PUA which they were not entitled to, the state shall require the individual to repay the benefits, except that the state may waive repayment under certain circumstances. HUD has determined that PUA benefits must be included in the calculation of Annual Income. Treat this income the same as Regular Unemployment.  

Section 2104: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program. This program provides eligible individuals who are collecting certain UI benefits, including regular unemployment compensation to receive an additional $600 in federal benefits per week for weeks of unemployment ending on or before July 31, 2020. FPUC benefits were extended for unemployment beginning after December 26, 2020 and ending March 14, 2021, with FPUC benefits reduced from a prior amount of $600 per week to $300 per week. HUD has determined that FPUC benefits meet the definition of temporary income and must NOT be included in the calculation of Annual Income.  

Section 2107: Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. This program provides an extension to regular unemployment insurance benefits for eligible individuals, allowing them to receive up to 13 weeks of additional benefits (this extends UI from 26 weeks to 39 weeks in total). For PEUC benefits, (1) the assistance shall be phased out beginning April 5, 2021; (2) the assistance applies to weeks of unemployment ending on or before March 14, 2021; and (3) in cases where the individual has not yet exhausted their PEUC benefits as of March 14, 2021, the amended PEUC provisions may allow the states to continue providing the individual PEUC benefits, not to exceed April 5, 2021. HUD has determined that PEUC benefits must be included in the calculation of Annual income. Treat this income the same as Regular Unemployment.  

Remember, lump-sum payments caused by delays in processing periodic payments for unemployment or welfare assistance are included as income. How lump sum payments for the delayed start of benefits are counted depends upon:

a.When the family reports the change;
b.When an interim re-examination is conducted; and
c.Whether the family’s income increases or decreases as a result. 

See HH 4350.3 Paragraph 5-6 for additional information. 

Advance Payment of the Child Tax Credit
Section 7527A of the American Rescue Plan provides a monthly Advance Payment of Child Tax Credit payment of up to $300/week from July 2021 through December 2021. Owners/agents must exclude the child tax credit on the basis that it is excludable income under 26 USC 6409.  

Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is providing loans to help keep millions of small businesses open and their workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress chose to exempt forgiven PPP loans from federal income taxation. Of course, the owner/agents did not include the original loan amount in any calculation of Annual Income. While HUD has not released official guidance, we expect that forgiven PPP loans will not be included in any income calculation.