One of the highlights of President Obama’s recently signed American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act was the announcement of a $250 stimulus payment to individuals who currently receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security benefits, Veterans benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits.
[Update - Jan 4 - Will there be another stimulus check in 2010?]
[update - find out about the new $250 stimulus check in 2010 for Social Security recipients]
[update - find out about the new $250 stimulus check in 2010 for SSI recipients]
Who is eligible for the $250 check?
To get the $250 you must meet the following criteria:
- Currently receiving Social Security, SSI payments, Veterans benefits or Railroad Retirement benefits.
- Must have been eligible for benefits at any time in November 2008, December 2008 or January 2009.
- The person receiving the SS or SSI must have an address of record in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam or the Northern Mariana Islands.
When will I get my $250 stimulus money?
The SSA (US Social Security Administration) is going to pay all eligible Social Security and SSI beneficiaries by late May 2009, so you should get your payment by no later than the first week of June 2009. The one-time payment will be a separate payment, which will not be included in your regular monthly benefit payment. You will still get your regular monthly payment amount.
How will I get my $250 payment?
The extra $250 payment will be paid to you in the same method that is currently used to your Social Security or SSI benefit. If you currently receive your regular benefit by check, your one-time payment will be made by check. If you receive a monthly direct deposit or Direct Express® debit card payment, that is how you will receive your one-time payment.
What do I need to do in order to receive the $250.
You don’t have to do anything - if you are eligible then the payment will be made to you automatically.
How do Veterans get their payment?
Veterans who don’t get SS or SSI will get their $250 payment from the Department of Veterans affairs (VA). You don’t need to do anything to get the money.
How do Railroad Retirement beneficiaries get their payment?
Your payment will come from the RRB (Railroad Retirement Board). You don’t have to do anything to get your payment. It will be delivered to you automatically. You can call 1-877-772-5772 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 1-877-772-5772 end_of_the_skype_highlighting (1-877-RRB-5RRB) (TTY 1-312-751-4701) for more information.
If both spouses are on Social Security or SSI – will we both get $250 checks?
Yes, you will. This program is designed to give $250 to each qualified individual. If both partners in a household qualify for the payments then they will each get the $250 payment for a total of $500.
Can I get more than $250 or more than 1 payment?
You can’t get more than $250 even if you receive benefits from more than one plan. Ie if you receive Social Security and Railroad benefits then you won’t be eligible for $500 or 2 payments – just 1 payment of $250.
Some other facts:
The one-time $250 payment will not count as gross income on your federal income tax return.
Disabled children receiving SSI are eligible for the one-time $250 payment.
More information (updated May 2009)
Disabled Veterans to receive $250 stimulus checks – on Military Finance Network
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