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Mortgage & Housing Market News from HSH.com
April 30th, 2009

$250 Stimulus Checks for Retirees In May



More than 50 million retired Americans are due to receive a $250 stimulus check next month. The checks are part of the $787 billion stimulus package signed into law in February. The money targets older consumers who don’t qualify for the “Making Work Pay” tax break, which provides individuals with up $400 and couples up to $800:

[The $250 checks] will go to people who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, railroad retirement or veteran’s disability benefits.

The Social Security Administration told lawmakers that the stimulus checks are expecting to flow more than $13 billion dollars into the struggling economy:

“We are at the moment of truth for the tax cuts and probably the stimulus more broadly,” [Mark] Zandi said. “If we don’t see an improvement in retailing and if the job cutting doesn’t abate in response this summer and fall … it either hasn’t worked or it wasn’t enough.”

The extra Social Security payments should boost spending because retirees on fixed incomes are more likely to spend them than workers earning more money, said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial.

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14 Responses to “$250 Stimulus Checks for Retirees In May”

  1. Lucia Says: May 1st, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    Is there any way to avoid receiving these checks or return them to sender for those who don’t want gov’t handouts?

  2. Tim Manni Says: May 4th, 2009 at 11:55 am


    I suppose if you are mailed a check, you just wouldn’t cash it. But this money is meant to help the economy as well as consumers. From an economist’s standpoint, not spending it could be considered counter productive. But hey, everyone is entitled to do with the money as they wish.

    Good to hear from you again,

  3. Lucia Says: May 4th, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks Tim,
    But isn’t it counterproductive for the consumer to spend it and then pay extra taxes on it? I supposed it depends on which school the economists graduated from.

  4. Tim Manni Says: May 4th, 2009 at 4:05 pm


    By extra taxes I’m assuming you mean state as well as federal taxes.

    I guess only time will tell who these “incentives” were really meant for. You may be right…can you imagine if these checks ended up doing more harm than good to those they were intended to help? Are these meant more to help the government than they are the people? Aren’t they supposed to be the same?

  5. Eleanor Says: June 10th, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    I have yet to receive mine. I am an 87 year old waiting for it and its June 10th!

  6. Tim Manni Says: June 11th, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Hi Eleanor,

    I just read a Q&A in the Honolulu Star Bulletin that addressed your exact concern. See Below:

    Question: Who can I contact regarding the $250 stimulus payment to people on Social Security who don’t work? We didn’t get our checks.

    Answer: Anyone eligible for a $250 check who did not receive it by now is advised to call the Social Security Administration’s toll-free number, (800) 772-1213, or contact the local office.

    Click here to view the Social Security Office’s answer to your question.

    Please let me know if you have anymore questions, thanks for commenting,

  7. Joyce & Yoel Soker Says: June 19th, 2009 at 10:11 am

    Are my husband and I eligible for stimulus checks in 2009?
    We live in Israel and receive our social security payments in our bank in Cleveland?
    Thank you
    Joyce Soker

  8. Tim Manni Says: June 19th, 2009 at 11:12 am


    The reason is b/c the checks are intended for those who live inside the U.S. This is directly from the social security website: “The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act limits Economic Recovery payments to individuals who live in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U. S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Mariana Islands, unless they are serving in the military and stationed overseas.”

    Unfortunately it seems as though you may not be receiving a check.

    Click here for the link for the FAQ regarding the stimulus checks. The question you are looking for is #39.

    I hope this clears it up, thanks for commenting,

  9. KennyK Says: June 25th, 2009 at 9:22 am

    If you don’t want a handout for some personal reason, then give the funds to someone who is poor and “needs” helped out.

    There are plenty of charities struggling right now to help out those struggling from the fallout of a corporate governance that has made it impossible for the American worker to make even 50percent of what is sold on American shelves.

    When Corporate American Politics starts tossing a few alms towards the streets the healthy should make sure it goes to those they themselves as healthy don’t even bother to consider; the poor and refuse.

  10. Tim Manni Says: June 25th, 2009 at 12:00 pm


    Point well taken. During a recession, or even economic downturns less severe than that, charitable donations seem to really fall off if not disappearing all together.

    Thanks for commenting,

  11. karen Says: June 30th, 2009 at 12:01 pm

    If you received the economic stimulas check in 2008 due to filing an income tax form, can you also receive the $250 check in 2009 from the government if you receive a va pension?

  12. Tim Manni Says: June 30th, 2009 at 12:33 pm


    I can’t say for sure. As far as I know, receiving a 2008 stimulus check shouldn’t prevent you from getting the $250 check. The Social Security website says if you “receive Veterans benefits, but NOT Social Security or SSI, You will receive your one-time payment from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).” (#22)

    Their website has a list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here to view that list.

    I hope that is of some help,

  13. karen Says: June 30th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Thank you for the information Tim. I aapreciate your assistance.

  14. Tim Manni Says: June 30th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

    No problem Karen.

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Tim Manni is the Managing Editor of HSH.com and the author of their daily blog, which concentrates on the latest developments in the mortgage and housing markets.

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