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Income Exclusions Under ARPA

EO Guidance Document #
FNS Document #
WIC Policy Memorandum: #2021-7
Resource type
Policy Memos
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
DATE: April 23, 2021
MEMO CODE: WIC Policy Memorandum: #2021-7
SUBJECT: WIC Income Exclusions under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Regional Directors
Special Nutrition Programs

WIC State Agency Directors
All State Agencies

On March 11, 2021, President Joseph R. Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, PL 117-2 (the Act). The Act included recovery rebates for individuals and child tax credits for qualifying households. Below is a summary of each provision and how to apply the income for the purposes of determining eligibility for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC).

Section 9601 – 2021 Recovery Rebates to Individuals

Section 9601 of the Act further amends the Internal Revenue Code to authorize additional $1400 rebate payments to eligible individuals, including children, similar to those authorized under the CARES Act section 2201 and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, sections 272 and 273. Pursuant to 26 USC 6409, these rebates are excluded from consideration as household income for the purpose of determining WIC eligibility.

Section 9611 – Child Tax Credit Improvements for 2021

Section 9611(a) of the Act makes the Child Tax Credit fully refundable so that it is available in full to children in families with low or no earnings, increases the maximum credit to $3,000 per child or $3,600 for children under the age of six, and extends the credit to 17-year-olds. These changes only apply to calendar year 2021. Section 9611(b) allows the Child Tax Credit to be provided in advance monthly payments. Pursuant to 26 USC 6409, the Child Tax Credit, whether received as an annual credit or in the form of advance payments, is excluded from consideration as household income for the purposes of determining WIC eligibility.

FNS regional offices should ensure that Indian Tribal Organizations (ITOs) and state agencies that administer any of these programs are apprised of this exclusion. ITOs or state agencies with questions regarding this income exclusion should contact their respective regional office representative.

Sarah Widor
Supplemental Food Programs Division

Page updated: December 21, 2021

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.