On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The law provides for a one-time economic recovery payment of $250 to people who get certain types of Federal benefits.
I've gotten several questions over the past few weeks about that one time payment, and how it works. There was confusion about who would, and who wouldn't receive this payment. I thought I'd answer those questions here.
To clarify, unlike last year's economic stimulus program, the IRS will not make this payment. Individuals who may qualify for this year's economic recovery payment should contact their respective agency for more information.
Who Will Get A $250 Payment?
A one-time payment of $250 will be made in 2009 to the following people:
- Retirees, disabled individuals and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration.
- Disabled veterans receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Railroad Retirement beneficiaries.
The Social Security Administration Web site has a special section on the economic recovery payment.
Who Won't Get A $250 Payment?
Not everyone receives an extra one time payment of $250. Here's a listing of people that will not be eligible for the extra money:
- Anyone living outside of the United States or its territories.
- Individuals who no longer are lawfully present in the United States.
- Individuals whose benefits have been suspended under the law for giving false or misleading statements.
- Social Security beneficiaries who are minor children.
- SSI beneficiaries who receive benefits at a reduced rate of $30 because they live in a medical treatment facility (such as a nursing home or hospital) and Medicaid pays over 50% of the cost of their care.
- Individuals only entitled to Medicare and not to Social Security or SSI benefits.
- Prisoners, fugitive felons, and probation and parole violators.
What If I Don't Get My Payment?
What should you do if you don't get your payment? If you haven't received it by June 4, 2009, you can call the Social Security Administration's toll-free phone number:
1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778)
You can also contact your local Social Security office and inquire as to why your payment hasn't been received. Note: The Department of the Treasury will be sending payments until the end of May, so please wait until at least June 4th to receive your payment (that's today). After then, feel free to start calling!