S. 623, a bill to amend the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to exclude certain payments to aged, blind, or disabled Alaska Natives or descendants of Alaska Natives from being used to determine eligibility for certain programs, and for other purposes
As reported by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on July 11, 2023
S. 623 would exclude distributions and benefits paid from a settlement trust to an Alaska Native, or his or her descendant, who is aged, blind, or disabled when calculating eligibility for needs-based federal programs, such as housing assistance and benefits provided through the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and Medicaid. Under current law, most payments from settlement trusts that are less than $2,000 annually are already exempt.
Using information from federal agencies and organizations that represent Alaska Native communities, CBO estimates that a small number of households would become eligible for additional federal benefits because their annual distributions would exceed $2,000. CBO expects that under S. 623, a small number of people would qualify for additional assistance under the SSI program. Because people who are enrolled in SSI automatically qualify for Medicaid coverage, the number of Medicaid recipients also would increase.