In May 2009, senior Social Security recipients and retirees will receive $250.00 per person from Uncle Sam, as part of the economic stimulus plan.
The senior payment figures are; $250.00 for individuals, $500.00 for couples that both receive Social Security benefits. This will include retirees, older veterans, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries, and people with disabilities.
Unlike the previous rebate distribution program in 2008, recipients will not have to file a tax form in order to receive the money. It will simply show up in the regular Social Security distributions – either through direct deposit or a check in the mail.
Federal and State retirees who do not receive Social Security benefits also qualify to receive the payment but may have to file a 2009 tax return in order to receive it.
The House of Representatives draft of the stimulus package, which was approved in January did not include the senior payment, however it did end up in the Senate approved bill after Montana Democrat, Max Baucus, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee proposed it. The Senate provision was also strongly promoted by Democrat Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island.
AARP supported the measure from the beginning. AARP sent a letter to lawmakers arguing that many retirees would be ineligible for “workers’ tax credits” but were in need of hardship relief. AARP cited research that shows that older people tend to spend such cash payments immediately.