Do you get public assistance such as 3SquaresVT (food stamps), fuel assistance, General Assistance or Reach-Up? If so, you have to report the money you get from unemployment to each of those programs. Generally, you should report the money within 10 days of when you start to get unemployment. Your other benefits may be reduced or stopped while you are getting unemployment, depending on how much you get in unemployment benefits. You should also report to each of these programs when you are no longer eligible for unemployment benefits. That way you can get your 3SquaresVT, fuel assistance, General Assistance and Reach-Up back.
Do you get SSI benefits? In August 2021, Social Security announced that unemployment benefits received between March 2020 and present are not counted as income when calculating SSI benefits. These payments will also not be counted toward the resource limit for SSI for as long as you have the money. (You should still be sure to tell Social Security about the unemployment money.) If Social Security counted your unemployment benefits when calculating SSI, you could be entitled to the unpaid SSI benefits. You should make sure that Social Security has your current address and respond to requests for information. In most cases, Social Security will let you know about any payments by mail.
If you have subsidized housing, you should report your unemployment benefits to:
- your landlord (if you live in a subsidized building), or
- your housing authority (if you get rental assistance such as a Section 8 voucher).
If you live in Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) multi-family housing, HUD counts unemployment benefits as income. Your share of the rent may go up while you get unemployment benefits. You should also report when your unemployment benefits stop, so that your rent share goes down again.
Medicaid also counts unemployment money. You should report your unemployment money to Vermont Medicaid. If you get a letter that says your Medicaid is changing or ending, contact the Office of the Health Care Advocate (HCA). Call 1-800-917-7787 to speak with a health care advocate, or fill out their Help Request Form. The HCA is a free service for Vermonters.