Stimulus for the disabled

While the news is filled with information about bailouts for banks and major corporations and stimulus money to help restart the economy, news about stimulus payments to the disabled are buried.

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” which provides significant funds to the SSA, and SSI and SSDI beneficiaries.

By June 20, 2009, all SSI and SSDI beneficiaries receiving disability benefits for November 2008 through January 2009 should receive a one-time stimulus payment of $250 as part of the Act. It appears that an individual who in the future is found to be retroactively entitled to benefits for those months will be eligible for the $250 stimulus payment until December 31, 2010 which is when payments are scheduled to end.

These payments will be received by beneficiaries in the same manner that the monthly benefit is paid (i.e., either by direct deposit or check). If an individual is eligible for multiple types of federal benefits, such as Veterans benefits and SSI, the individual will receive only one payment. These payments will not be considered gross income for tax purposes and will not be considered “income” for SSI recipients.

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