Most seniors who receive Supplemental Security Income or Social Security benefits will enjoy a $250 check in May as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was recently signed by President Obama.
But for some seniors, the money raises more questions than answers. It is important to communicate with them and make sure they understand that no action is required on their part. Caregivers can assist by reviewing the information provided here and making sure seniors understand when to be looking for this payment to arrive.
Take a minute to review a dozen of the most commonly asked questions about the economic recovery one-time payments, as identified by Social Security Online, the official Web site of the U.S. Social Security Administration:
1) Who will receive a one-time economic recovery payment from Social Security? Nearly 55 million Social Security and SSI beneficiaries will receive the payment.
2) When will the payments be received? The government expects to process the checks at the end of May and also seniors should receive their payments the first week of June, 2009.
3) How will seniors receive their one-time economic recovery payment? The payment will be made in the same way they currently receive their Social Security or SSI benefit. If that payment is normally delivered by check, the stimulus payment will be sent the same way and if it is normally a direct deposit or debit card payment then that is how it will be delivered.
4) Are individuals who receive more than one benefit (Social Security and Veterans or Railroad Retirement benefits) entitled to more than one $250 payment? No, individuals may only receive one payment.
5) If my spouse and I both receive Social Security or SSI benefits, will we each get a $250 payment? Yes, each individual qualifies for the economic stimulus payment of $250.
6) If a senior became eligible for Social Security benefits in February, 2009, will they receive the $250 economic recovery payment? No, only seniors who were eligible for Social Security, SSI, Veterans or Railroad Retirement benefits at any time during the months of November 2008, December 2008 and January 2009 are eligible for the one-time payment.
7) Do seniors need to do anything in order to receive the one-time economic stimulus payment? No action is necessary.
8) Will seniors receive the one-time economic recovery payment if they have a delinquent federal debt? The law requires the Treasury Department to offset the one-time payments to collect delinquent child support and debts owed to state and federal agencies. The government will apply the payment towards the senior's debt to the government if they already owe a debt to a state or federal agency.
9) Will the one-time economic recovery payment change the amount or delivery date of a senior's regular Social Security or SSI benefit? No, the one-time $250 payment will have NO effect on the regular Social Security or SSI benefits and will be delivered as a separate payment.
10) Will the one-time economic recovery payment count as income for SSI? No, it will not.
11) Will the one-time economic recovery payment count as income when determining eligibility for Extra Help with Medicare Prescription Drug plan costs? No, it will not.
12) What should a senior do if someone calls or e-mails them asking for personal information to process their one-time stimulus payment?
Seniors should not provide personal information to anyone requesting it to process the one-time economic stimulus payment of $250. To verify any phone calls from someone claiming to be a Social Security employee, you may call 1-800-772-1213 and you may always report suspicious activity involving Social Security programs and operations to the Social Security Fraud Hotline website
or by calling: 1-800-269-0271.
You may visit the Social Security website
for additional information about the economic stimulus and to have real time updates emailed to you.