$250 Stimulus Check For 2010 – Is It Enough?

by Mike Holman

President Obama has proposed another $250 stimulus check for all recipients of Social Security as well as a $250 check for people on SSI.  This stimulus check was given out in 2009 and he has suggested that since SS and SSI payments are not increasing in 2010 because of low inflation, this check will help people pay their bills.

Is a $250 stimulus check enough?

The problem is that $250 doesn’t go as far as it used to!  Obviously everyone can use more money but the question to be answered is – is a $250 stimulus check enough to help people?  Given the costs of administrating this program and sending checks out – another good question is whether the program is worthwhile doing at all for a relatively small amount of money.

Here are some possible options for the government to consider:

Increase the amount of the stimulus check

Making the stimulus check larger to $500 would make it a lot more worthwhile considering the admin costs.  More money would be available to help stimulute the economy.  The downside of a larger check is of course the extra costs.  Giving out twice as much money will increase the government deficit and debt levels and clearly that is not a good thing.

Lower the amount of the stimulus check

Another option is to lower the check to a level around $100.  This would save the government and taxpayers money but doesn’t make a lot of sense since now the amount is way too low and it would be very pointless to handle giving out checks for only $100.

Don’t do any stimulus check in 2010

This last option is unfortunately a definite possibility since the bill hasn’t passed the house yet which means it could still die.  Not giving out a stimulus check would be the best thing for the government since it wouldn’t cost anything but what about the people on SS and SSI who need the money?  They would probably not like this option.

Keep it at $250

If there is any stimulus check then this is by far and away the most likely option.  The amount isn’t great but on the other hand, the cost is somewhat affordable to the government.  Plus, this is the same amount that was given last year so it makes sense in that context.

Want to learn more about RESPs? Buy The Book:


The RESP Book: The Simple Guide to Registered Education Savings Plans

Everything you need to know about RESPs.

See it on Amazon now

{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }


I am on ss.disability.The proposed check of $250.00 is a help…but not much.If the goverment is having a problem getting the money it needs to pay us.Drop a few of the contracts it has for multi-million dollar jets it
has built .I love our military,and I love our freedom.But …really just how big of an Army is big enough.And,what good is an Army if you cannot take care of the people?

2 Debby Patterson

Some people seem to think that if we get a stimulus check that $250.00 isn’t enough. If you think about it people any little bit helps and even if they don’t pass this then we won’t be losing anything either. Even if it was just $100.00 like someone stated above, because it is better than nothing. I’m on social security disability and the money would be appreciated, but if no checks are going to be issued out I wouldn’t gripe about it. Debby!!!

3 Ron Bouchard

Why are SSA recipients on a different COLA formula than members of Congress? Evey year they get a COLA that is greater than SSA COLA increases. In 2010, I believe they will get over 3% COLA while we get ZERO. In addition Federal workers who get the COLA also receive bonuses which in some cases equal their annual salary. They get health insurance paid for while we have to pay $96++ per month for our Part B coverage. Where is AARP looking out for us and where are our Representatives and Senators. When prices go up—we have to pay them—we can’t tell the grocery store—sorry no COLA this year–you’ll have to accept last year prices from us. It’s a pity and a shame that we are put into the position we are faced with.

4 Susan, Wash. DC

I worked for the feds for over 34 years. Fed employees do not have their health insurance paid for by the feds; the feds only cover a partial premium payment – each employee has to make up the rest of the premium payment. That amount depends on what plan they signed up for and whether it’s for an individual or a family. As for bonuses, I am unaware of any of my co-workers ever receiving a bonus that equaled an entire year’s salary. Whenever I received a “bonus”, it was based upon my annual rating and never exceeded 2% of my salary. As for the annual COLA for members of Congress, they receive a lower COLA than they approve for other federal workers. I think the president has proposed a 2% cola for federal workers; that means members of congress with receive less than 2%. Yes, it’s higher than what SS recipients are going to receive, but it’s never as high as other federal workers receive. My real question to the president and congress is, if the cost of living has remained steady, why did the military, federal workers, and even those making minimum wage all receive COLA’s this year but they somehow don’t think that the cost of living has increased for seniors?

5 Dan

Personally,I think the 2010 Stimulus should be a minimum of $750.00. Reasons; 1. Look at all the money the Administration convinced Americans IT needed to bail out BANKS, AUTO companies, ETC…. Are not we American PEOPLE worth MORE than a bank? Who runs the banks and auto companies? WE DO!!!!!! Without the people, there would be NO bank,etc…. The banks need us, we do not need them. People did just fine without banks, and not too long ago. Even now as I type this, more and more of us are doing without, because of banks and the governments. People are standing up. Governments are not listening yet.

6 Leonard Vandal

My wife and I did not get the promised $250.00 each stimulus check in 2009. Are we going to receive them in 2010? We are both on social security. Also we are waiting for the stimulus for clunker appliances and windows.

7 ayzle laird

leonard, you should have received the 2009 stimulas check for you and your wife if you were both on social security in Nov. and Dec. 2009. If you did not receive them you should ask social secuity why you did not get them. One person I know just got theirs in Dec. but every one else got them in may.There should be a place on the internet telling you what to do. Good Luck Ayzle

8 Linda Dudley

I lost my service connection over an annonimous phone call now I am receiving Non service connection and SSD my husband also receives SSI we both have chf and a bunch of other medical problems. they dropped his champus and kept his stimulus check to pay a pharmacy that had been paid some six years ago by champus. Where is the logic in that also about these government officials that are in prision and will still be getting their pensions while they are in there. The average person if he gets in trouble he loses all especially if he is a felon and cannot get it back. WE THE PEOPLE HAVE NO COUNTRY OF OUR OWN WHAT WE SAY DOES NOT COUNT ANYMORE. THE GOVERNMENT WILL NOT LISTEN TO THE FACTS OR TRUTH ONLY WHAT THEY WANT TO SEE. I have the paperwork on my service connection and the paper of the annonimous phone call over 2,000 PLUS pages but 2 and 2 doesn’t seem to make 4 anymore. I have been fighting this since 2004.

9 jbh lincoln ar

i think it is sad that there is no cost of living raise for the next 2 or 3 years and they expect us to get a health plan. when you only make 1200. a month, by the time you pay rent, bills , food and gas to get around to do these things there is nothing left. so where doe’s that leave the people that are in this group. There should be something done about this. Even with the 2010 stimulus check, it will not last anyone a year, to make up the differance. so people can eat( to go to food banks) get help paying bills and rent. and not having anything left over for anything else. the medicare prat is going up for the next 3 years. i just think it is wrong to do people on a fixrd income this way

10 yolanda smith

when will we get this money i hope soon

11 bill dorsa


12 Debbie

i am on disability, yes 250 is better than nothing but, if they can afford to pay everybody on disability a 250 then why can’t they give us a raise. i pay bills, house, gas, food i have to buy food that i think will last a month, because i have 40 dollars left after i pay bills. i have to wait a full month again to get any more money.

13 vc

I am on SS Disability. I worked all my life to earn this….and for what?? This is very frustrating that members of Congress can say the cost of living has NOT gone up. Every time I go in the stores, everything keeps rising. I would like to know where in the world do they get their statistics. Everything has gone up and keeps going up, no matter it be food, gas, utilities. We had two increases in our electricity in 2009, and another one coming up in 2010. I agree that $250 is better than nothing, but it sure isn’t going to go far in paying the bills. Big whopping deal!! I have to live on less than $700 a month. I would like to see them live on what they give us, and then say the cost of living hasn’t risen. If they can bail out all these organizations, banks and what have you, then they should take care of their own people who are striving day by day to make a living. The government sure finds money for everything else. What’s going to happen when we have to start paying for the health insurance? As far as I can see, this government has gone to pot…..and it sure as heck isn’t the kind you smoke!!

14 Patty

All I have to say is that I started working before I was 16 years old and had to stop when I was 58 years old because of disability… I had paid into SS and medicare for more than 40 years …only taking off from work to have my son and once 6 months because of unemployment. Now I cannot afford groceries (I have to use food stamps) and I cannot afford to drive my car …I cannot afford any of the co pays to go to the doctor…I felt shame at first because I had to stop working but have come to realize that I paid into these things all my life so that my needs could be met if needed. No frills or extra just my needs. Now I find that often at the end of the month I often must go with out food and when I can get food it is nearly impossible to be able to eat healthy throughout the month. (fresh fruit and vegetables are a treat).
I know I am not alone and that there are many many children and families who are even lest fortunate than I….they are homeless…I am grateful for what I do have (more than many I think) but I do feel that this country has enough to help everyone especially all those who worked to help all those big guys grow…you know the ones getting most of the money now… I truly believe there is enough for all and that it is greed and power that is causing the dilemma that many are now experiencing….THERE IS ENOUGH FOR EVERYONE ..We may be hungry but we are not ignorant…

15 Kyle

Thanks Patty,,we sound alot alike..i paid into ss for 30 years..lost my house,now living in a camper,i have no heat. i get by most of the time doing without,,like you..i get paid the second wednesday of every month,last being dec.9th..so passed dec.16th,dec.23rd,dec.29th.so today its been 4 weeks jan.6 but no check…its 5 wednesdays in dec..and a few other months during the year..i do get paid jan.13th but that extra week leaves me with nothing,,and i mean nothing at all…so i dont think $250.00 is is fair by no means i will miss one whole check this year because of the 5 week months…some one needs to check into that…….good luck to all of you…..thanks

16 Kyle

hi there,,i paid my ss for 31 years..now i have lost my house,,im living in a camper now..i have gotton use to it…i have no cable,no cell phone,no heat,,even had to cancel my life ins..i get paid the second wednesday of every month.today is jan.6th..my last check was on dec.9th…my next check will be here jan.13th..thats 5 weeks..a few months have 5 wednesdays in it,,so we have to go an extra week before we get paid….now that hurts…$250.00 just dont make it..

17 Rose Frashuer

HI, I am going to jump in here and see if I can help! Since I do not know where you all live , I am still going to suggest this. I did notice some of you said you were on food stamps and this means you have a case worker, did you apply for ( QMB) qualified medical benefits or the equal of which means the state in which you live pays for your medicare premiums and you pay low or no co pays for your medications. Plus did you look around for a prescription plan in your area that has no deductible for doctors visits, etc, such as wellcare, evercare, look in your medicare booklet. Those are excellent programs and they have other benefits as well, don’t be afraid to change.This will have to be a full plan that includes medical as well. At no extra cost to you.

18 Rose Frashuer

To Linda Dudley:
Have you tried, if its possible in your area SafeLink.com for a free phone service based on the simple fact you and your husband both are on SS. Perhaps since they have denied access to you try it for your husband. You can get either a cell phone or a house phone but not both.

19 Rose Frashuer

to all , the 250.00 will be here soon , in the next 3 months, according to what I have read so far, a friend of mine has received hers already, to those of you without a phone try the safelink.com for either a cell phone or house phone, the cellphone comes with 68 free minutes per month that will rollover if you do not use them all and you get a tracphone for free

20 Rose Frashuer

yes there will be 2010 stimulus checks and that address is safelinkwireless.com

21 Rose Frashuer

Service is available in these States…
APPLY NOW if you live in one of them!
Alabama Connecticut DC
Delaware Florida Georgia
Illinois Maryland Massachusetts
Michigan New Hampshire New Jersey
New York North Carolina Ohio
Pennsylvania Tennessee Virginia
West Virginia Wisconsin (.these are the states it is available in for now for safelink.com

22 Glenda

I think all government people and their family should have to live off what we have to live off of.They should have to use the same insurance we have to use.try getting meds when you are on Medicaid,Have disabilities that requires a lot of visits to DR’s and lab work every 6 weeks.
I lost right eye and had it removed,I worry all the time that i might lose my other eye,but DR”s and hospitals want their money no matter what you have done.I can tell the difference when i’m being seen by a DR because I have only Medicaid,than people with other insurance.
We live on 950.00 a mo.I’d like to see the people in Washington live on that,
I feel they should stop all the traveling,stop all this space junk,that is making this world worse off than helping.Who think they will be around to live on the moon,all the money spent on something that could help the people that need it worse.
1 last thing,I think all people that is not USA born should be sent back where they came from.Stop giving the help we need to someone that has never done a thing for the UNITED STATES..Send them all back as soon as you can load them up.
Sad to know people from other country get treated better than the people at home.

23 Glenda

OH another thing..IF people can’t speak our language,send them back too.Why should we have to decide what language we want to hear or read?That is WRONG!!!!!!!

24 Rose Frashuer

Glenda, Have you applied for Social Security Disability?

25 Rose Frashuer

well, yes while I agree with you, there are some resources that can alleviate at least some of the problems that some of us are facing, this is messed up and has been for awhile, while we cannot control those let’s control what we can, as you all have noticed word of mouth is how most of those resources are spread, they don’t just come right out and say it, I am using those myself and I am appalled when I hear people say they are struggling with their meds, a lot of the pharmaceutical companies will also give you free medications if you apply to their companies and qualify and according to what I have read so far, it looks as if all of you do, or simply ask your own physician, sometimes he or she can point you in the right direction. Ask! I did and with great results.

26 cpa tucson

Folks, we Cannot buy ourselves out of debt nor into prosperity… it simply doesn’t work that way – never has, never will. Production, pure and simple, coupled with savings and stewardship of finances is what growth and prosperity is all about. It’s also all we need in order to re-establish ourselves in the freedom that we’ve always had available – whether it’s as a family, a city, state, or country… the principles always work the same. That’s what Jordon attributed his success to – focusing on the fundamentals until they were So much a part of him that he could actually hit a free-throw in a game With His Eyes Closed (which he actually did, when he was taunted by an opposing player to try to do in a game). That’s the beauty of fundamentals folks – they work all the time, in any time, for any size scenario. In fact the bigger the scenario, the more you need them. There was a commercial on a few years ago with the voice-over done by Gene Hackman wherein he said, “Sometimes it’s difficult to stick to the fundamentals… and that’s Precisely When You Need Them Most.” Truer words for these times we’re in may never be spoken (unless, of course, you read the Bible).

27 LaVonne

It’s a sin the way the government has handled the money!!!!!Billions or trillions on a war that will never end because of the people and how they are raised in the foreign countries (Israel, Irag, etc. ) They are taught to kill and hate Americans, so why should we send all our men and money to help them when the government should take care of the people here. They bailed out the banks and now they are back to the same old s—. Big bonuses!!!!!!!It is not fair that our col has been denied when the gov. can spend so much money on the nonsense that they do. OBAMA said there would be CHANGE and it’s not for the BETTER!!!!!!!!! A truck in Texas had a bumper sticker that read (OBAMA) which means (One bad ass mistake America) I’m sure glad I didn’t vote for him. It will be very interesting to see what Congress does for the American people for a CHANGE . I’m certainly not counting on anything and I hope I’m wrong.

28 LaVonne

As long as I’m sounding off, a lousy $250.00 would hardly pay for groceries for a month. Or a heating bill. Or anything else for that matter.

29 Fred

The $250. is fine. But I like to see the President and Congress rescind the wage limitation on us Seniors taking Social Security Benefit’s at 62 years old. Since so many of our manufacturing jobs moved out of the country we are being forced to take a lesser paying job. By letting us earn more we would be putting more revenue funds back in Social Security.

30 Rose Frashuer

I agree with you on this, they do need a reality check, but face it, some of us come from two or three different worlds ( the ones they live in) and the real world, however when they do come back to earth, it is a whole different perspective , example when they reach our orbit and get their heads out of the clouds as in losing their jobs, their security, oh no, the suicidal rate goes up, etc., hate to be brutally honest but it is what it is.

31 WC

Sad to say, but for my monthly disabililty payment, a $250 stimulus check is like getting the regular year’s increase all at once, instead of monthly, so I come out about even

32 Glenda

When I got my letter from SS stating that we would not get a COL increase, my question was what planet do they come from. I would like to see all of our government officials live on what we live on. All our fine governor here in Maine can think of is how much more money he can squeeze out of our pockets. He says he won’t raise our taxes here in Maine. He just makes up new ones. Our officials need to stop worrying about helping other countries and take care of their own. It is a shame that we have veterans living on the streets.

33 Deborah Christiansen

My husband is a vietnam veteran who became disabled 5 years ago, but according to the VA its not due to the fact that his company carried the defoliant agent orange on their airplanes “duh”. Our 19 year old son has been sick since he was born with one thing after another doesn,t know what its like to be healthy, he recieved disability until he graduated which helped but now that he doesn,t get it it is very hard to make ends meet. I had to quit my job to take care of my husband & son so the $250.00 stimulus check is a joke. I,m sorry that I feel that way I love my country but its like they have always said “the rich been screwin over the poor always have always will”. I personally feel blessed because I know that their are many more people that don,t even have what we do. I make the s security check stretch as far as I can & still people tell us we should cut back, my question is what should we cut back on ?, food, clothing, shelter, or to make it easier on them simply stop exsisting. Don,t want a free ride but my husband served this country honorably & worked most of his life doesn,t he deserve the cola along with the many others who did the same.

34 Andi

Those of us on disability should not worrry about our stimulus checks. If you are in your right mind we need to run for office. WE wouldn’t have to worry about our disabilities we would get all the help we need. Then we would be able to not worry about the peoples money we would make it our own. They don’t worry about the economy or it would’nt be in the shape it is in. I also think Haiti got more attention then New Orleans.

35 C. Jo

Why does our government make it possible for young, single working people who make good money eligible for as much as $35,000 free down payments on homes, and, if they get pregnant out of wedlock they get free doctors of their choice and free hospital delivery and all medicdal, food, etc., for their baby? While a married couple or elderly or disabled people have to go without meds, food, housing, and other truly necessary things. It seems the government rewards the wrong people. If you work and make over 3o,000+ dollars per year, and are not married, you should not be entitled to all these “free-bees” while the people who have low, low incomes have to scrape by. It’s like rewading the rich and punishing the poor! I thnk it is terribly unfair. I am aware of two people who have been given tens of thousands of dollars for houses, pregnancys and the like. Can someone please explain this warped sense of compensating the wrong people!

36 Rose

ok, so I will say this again, no one married, disabled, or elderly should be without the medications they need, or food or unforeseen surgery,etc., ask your physician for examples or apply to the pharmaceutical company itself for your meds. , ask your local hospital for the finance dept to speak with someone about a upcoming surgery you cannot pay for, you could quite possibly qualify for temp. medicaid, go to a local church for a food bank or a hot meal, ask around, they are around, if you are on disability and you think you may not qualify for something, just simply ask, example, cataract surgery, droopy eyelid surgery, etc., how about meals on wheels, some of you may not like what I have said, but seek and you will find, I am sorry but it is what it is.

37 Deborah

We the people of the great U.S.A . love our country if I,m not mistaken, & We the people trust in that country to help us when we are unable to. But look at what our goverenment has done in the past decade alone, I mean come on lets get realistic, goverenment is for goverenment. The bank bailouts, the car industries, etc., etc.,etc. Yeah look at those poor unfortunates in New Orleans, why did it take so long for help? I feel that no matter what we say or do the outcome is & always will be the same. Everything our country was founded on is slowly being taken away. Goverenment employees as I recall worked on a volunteer basis & did not expect payment. What happened? What does” WE THE PEOPLE” actually mean anymore? I think it,s us & them. They will have to answer for all thats been done in due time. I agree that We should continue to write our congressmen & women & everyone we can think of for a solution.

38 Carole

Like my momma said years ago…Eventually they will “eliminate” the sick and the elderly. Wish she was here to see her words are coming true. I say, walk one month in my shoes or someone even less fortunate than I am (God help them). Then come tell me that $250 is going to help me out. Personally, I feel that if it is that much of a big deal that Congress hasn’t passed it yet, keep it. If we, USA, started taking care of our own FIRST and get thousands maybe millions who do not deserve SSI ( I have 4 family members that DO NOT NEED IT) we would have more for the really disabled. When I heard the word “Change” I sure didn’t realize it meant sinking down lower than I was before. I also want to say that I didn’t expect a “change” to happen over night. I agree with “Oly”. We need to ban together and not stop until we are satisfied. It is our right and I feel our responsibility.

39 robert

Increase the amount of the stimulus check Will help get more food at home and pay some bills some this guys ssi dont make lots money mothn 700 dollers dont cover food and rent i think Increase the amount of the stimulus check 500 or 900 will help ssi think about we get loder father and mothers out they need it dec 25 they can offer to buy no one gifts that real sad guys to grand father cry and grand mother cry in dec it sad give they the Increase the amount of the stimulus check 900 only one lots they fight in lod war for us was bron usa pay they taxes like us so give it the usa get money give out lots other place why not give they the money …..:)

40 margaret arnold

I have read all your emails. And yes I feel the same way as most of you. SSeveral of you suggusted food pantry and such. Plus food stamps and other such programs. I make a little over 900.00 on SSD which puts me over some of the cash levels. Plus my children help me out. Plus I was raised in the old school of doing things for yourself. I worked for 45 years some times to put food on table raised 3 boys by my self with out all the food stamps and help that some young people get. All because they have a bunch of children with out fathers being in their lives. I agree we need to do some banding to gather and see what we can to.

41 Rose

as you use the resources you are helping yourself, some women with children that are without their fathers are for various reasons ie; death, abuse, etc. and are better off, so have I moved along without food stamps but if push came to shove , I would march myself there like (the young people) and apply as well, however, life is and will always continue to not to be as fair as most people think, but on the whole, we are given choices and it is entirely up to us to do with them as we wish, as for myself, I will survive and count my blessings, I control what I can , as far as the rest , what can you do , it is bigger than all of us, it is a failing system any way, always has been , always will be!

42 Michelle

Why can’t we get at least a 3% increase every year no matter what the cola is? The government can then supplement it with a yearly or bi-yearly check that could flucate every year. For example; we could get on $200 check at the begginning of the year and one in the middle of the year. Next year instead of not giving us a COLA they can take away one of the checks; since the government loves to take things away so much.
Please do some research on the cola and see that there has been a cola since 1975. I believe what the government is doing now might be illegal. It clearly states on the SS web site that the cola MUST be greater than 0% even .5% is greater than 0! They try to make it sound ok by saying by law there is no cola but they are going against their own law!

43 Michelle

“Since there is no COLA in 2010, the starting point for the measuring period for the 2011 COLA will remain the third calendar quarter of 2008. “(Social Security, 2010.)
We may never see another COLA since they will be basing out off past information! They need to change the forumala or have a flat increase of at least 3% every year!!!

44 mary coy

why is it so hard to just sign the 250.00 so we the poor can at least known you known your self it is hahd to live on 600.00 a month

45 andio

It seems as the goverment isnt into bailing out those of us who have paid in but now are having it a little rough. They seem to forget those of us as if it is their money. I have had some difficult finacial disaters this year as they seem to want everything I have including my dignity. All I can say is Mr. Obama could care less about us and more about other countries. The focus will not be on any of WE THE PEOPLE this year. Hope things will change in the future but I don’t see it happening. My faith in the democratic party has become a bad taste in my mouth. I hope we all can stand together to change things and the eyes of the Americans who still think of our country instead of selling us short.

46 mo rosciszewski

I wrote to my senator already about the cola, but to no avail. We really do need a term limit of these congressmen and senators. They work for the lobbyists.


Look I am on SSI. This is some serious bull crap. Okay listen to this I recently got married and i’m on SSI and my husbands on SS they combined our checks and took about $200 from us what i don’t understand is how do they get the idea that the cost of living went down cause we are married now if anything the cost of living went up. On top of that we had a baby and our pay didn’t go up so now we are trying to raise a child and still make ends meet. We have had to give up one of our vehicals cause we couldn’t afford it and we had to move to a smaller place. Now the COLA isn’t there what more can we do. Then to top it all off they are not sure they are giving us our stimulus which isnt enuff to really do us any good anyways but at least its something. It seems like we are really catching the raw end of all this economy building stuff. What can we do except complain about it.

48 Judy

If Social Security cannot get a COLA in 2010 then how can Congress get a raise…………………

49 Joyce Lyn

I am on disability and i have to take care of my daughter and myself on that little bitty check it’s not even enough to pay rent any where now we are in a shelter not a good place to live so why not raise the stimulus check higher than 250 to 500 or just give us back our cola, Mr. Congressmen would you like to live in a shelter and be homeless with your family ,didn’t think so then why should any one else God Bless to those who do and those who don’t but struggle just the same peace Joyce

50 marcie

i dont want to sound negitive, but i dont think we will get the srimulus this year,hasnt been any mention of it, and when i call social security they say itr hasnt been passed yet,all we can do is hope and pray,let congress live off of 674.00 a month and raise a child on it. they wouldnt beable too.i hope it gets passed ,

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: