MARCH 28, 2009: Vice President Joseph Biden announced Friday that federal stimulus payments to Social Security recipients will take place in May. The one-time $250 payment, included within the $825 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be made in a separate check and is payable to all retirees who receive Social Security benefits.

Public retirees, who do not receive a Social Security benefit, will receive a $250 tax rebate paid by the IRS. Unfortunately, non Social Security retirees must wait until they file their 2009 taxes (filed in 2010) in order to receive the stimulus payment.

As members are aware, the original stimulus bill, passed by the US House of Representatives in late January, did not include non Social Security retirees in the payment. Due to the efforts of our Association and our coalition of allies across the country, a last minute amendment was inserted in the Recovery and Reinvestment Act when the bill was in conference committee.

The successful inclusion of the amendment can be credited to Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, along with Congressmen Richard Neal, Barney Frank, and Michael Capuano. All four hold high ranking positions within the Senate and House leadership, which made them invaluable to public retirees.

“We would rather that all retirees were going to receive their stimulus payment in May, not just those receiving Social Security. Unfortunately, there was no simple way to administer the $250 payment to non Social Security retirees,” explains Association President Ralph White. “The only method for the federal government to get the money to non Social Security retirees is through the IRS, which now must take place with the 2009 tax year.”