June 8, 2001

President Bush Signs the
Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

On June 7, 2001, the President signed into law H.R. 1836, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. The following provisions impact the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs:

One-Time Tax Refund Payments

  • Provides one-time payments of up to $300 for an individual, $500 for the head of a household, and up to $600 for a married couple. These payments are an advanced refund of credits for taxes withheld for 2001 that are no longer owed because of the overall reduction in income tax rates.
  • Subjects the one-time tax refund payments to tax refund offset provisions, such as past-due child support and tax refund offset for overpayment recovery of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits. (Refunds of taxes paid are not income or resources for SSI beneficiaries under current regulations.)

Child Tax Credits

  • Increases child tax credit amounts gradually from $500 for each child to $1,000 in 2010.
  • Expands the child tax credit by making it refundable for low-income workers. Previously, the child tax credit was refundable in very limited situations.
  • Excludes the refundable child tax credit as part of income or resources in determining eligibility for means-tested programs, including SSI. The refundable child tax credit is also excluded as part of resources in the month of receipt and the following month.
  • Effective January 2001, the child tax credit is $600 per child.

Restitution Received by Victims of the Nazi Regime or Their Heirs or Estates

  • Excludes restitution payments for assets stolen, hidden from or lost before, during or immediately after World War II by reason of the individual's status as an eligible individual, and interest earned on such payments, from gross income for the purposes of taxation and for computing adjusted gross income (e.g., taxation of Social Security benefits).
  • Defines an eligible individual as a person who was persecuted for racial, religious reasons by Nazi Germany, or any other Axis regime, or any other Nazi-controlled or Nazi-allied country. An eligible individual also includes individuals persecuted on the basis of physical or mental disability or sexual orientation.
  • Effective for restitution received on or after January 1, 2000.