American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
by Richard Schneider
Emeritus Professor of Accounting
Winona State University
Last time we covered the ‘Making Work Pay’ tax stimulus, and this time we will cover the payments to retired and disabled individuals. Almost everyone who is retired or receiving disability will get the payment of $250.
Who qualifies? Recipients of at least one of following benefits:
1. Social Security
2. SSI (any age)(except if the recipient is in a Medicaid institution)
3. Railroad retirement benefits
4. Veteran’s compensation or pension benefits
You must have received benefits for the any one of the months of November 2008, December 2008, or January 2009. You must live in the USA, Puerto Rico, Guam, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or Northern Mariana Islands. If the recipient lives in a foreign county, they are not qualified for the payment.
How will it be paid? The agency making the qualified benefit payment will make the payment to the recipient in the same manner as the normal benefit is received, by check or direct deposit. This will be a separate payment of $250.
When will the payment be made? Most of the payments will be made in late May, but no later than June 17th, 2009.
Others who will not receive a payment are those whose benefits have been suspended because of imprisonment, or other crime, or are no longer legally in the United States.
For individuals who died before being certified to receive a payment, they will not receive a payment. The certification date I believe was April, it may have been earlier. My notice of payment arrived the first week of May. In most cases, if a notice of payment is received a payment should be made, even if the recipient is deceased.
There will be no double payments. An individual will receive one $250 payment, even if the individual is entitled to or eligible for more than one benefit, mentioned before. For example, my brother-in-law is retired military, and worked at several other jobs subsequent to the military retirement and is now is also receiving social security benefits. He will receive only one $250 payment.
These payments will not affect the tax return. The payments are NOT taxable, and not counted as part of the benefit payment, reported to the IRS. A recipient need not have filed a return for 2008, or for 2009 to qualify.