Updated HUD Guidance on the Treatment of Unemployment Benefits & Child Tax Credit
HUD recently issued guidance regarding the treatment of Unemployment Benefits under the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act and the monthly Child Tax Credit under the American Rescue Plan of 2021.
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) is an emergency program established by the CARES Act to increase unemployment benefits due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Originally, FPUC provided an additional $600 per week to individuals collecting unemployment benefits and such payments were to end on July 31, 2020.
HUD clarified in an update to their COVID-19 Q&A document that the weekly FPUC benefit is to be excluded when determining annual income.
The weekly FPUC benefit was extended in August of 2020 and the weekly FPUC benefit amount was reduced to $300. Under the American Rescue Plan of 2021, the provision of the $300 weekly FPUC benefit was extended to September 6, 2021.
In this most recent guidance, HUD reiterated that reduced weekly FPUC benefit is still excluded when determining household income.
Advance Payment of Child Tax Credit
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 expands the Child Tax Credit (CTC) for the 2021 Tax Year.
For the tax year 2021, families claiming the CTC for the tax year 2021 will receive up to $3,000 per qualifying child between the ages of 6 and 17 at the end of 2021. They will receive $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6 at the end of 2021. Under the prior law, the amount of the CTC was up to $2,000 per qualifying child under the age of 17 at the end of the year.
Advance payments of the 2021 Child Tax Credit will be made monthly payments of $300 per child, from July through December. The total of the advance payments will be up to 50 % of the total allowable Child Tax Credit.
In this recent guidance, HUD provides that the monthly child tax credit advance must be excluded as income when determining household income. Essentially, eligible households are receiving an advance payment on their 2021 federal tax refund, which is deemed excludable income under 26 USC 6409.
HUD also stated in this guidance that /agents can remind residents that the $300/week unemployment benefit and child tax credit are not included in the annual calculation of income and this could be used as a resource to help with unpaid rent.
Notice to Vacate
In this guidance, HUD informs owner/agents that HUD updated the CDC Eviction Moratorium Q&A on 4/26/2001 to include guidance regarding issuing non-payment of rent notices. While the eviction moratorium has expired, the 30-day notice to vacate requirement for nonpayment of rents is still in effect for all covered properties.