Social Security payments to begin in May
By Darlene Superville
Thursday, March 26, 2009
WASHINGTON (AP) — People who collect Social Security or
disability benefits will share $13 billion in federal money,
each receiving a one-time, $250 payment beginning in May, Vice
President Joe Biden said Thursday.
Biden also announced that $3.2 billion in grants are available
for energy efficiency and conservation projects nationwide.
Both pots of money are from the economic recovery bill President
Barack Obama signed into law in February. Obama says the
$787 billion measure will help end the recession by saving and
creating 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010, and putting money
into people's pockets.
More than 50 million recipients of Social Security and
Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, will receive the $250
The payments will begin in May and continue during the month.
Recipients won't have to do anything to get the money, which
will be sent separately from their regular monthly benefit.
Biden noted that the Social Security Administration was about
six weeks ahead of schedule for distributing the payments.
"These folks need the money," he said at the start of a meeting
on the stimulus program with Cabinet secretaries and
representatives from other departments. "People are going to be
actually spending that money."
Biden oversees enactment of the stimulus program.
The vice president also noted that a tax cut included in the
stimulus bill will take effect in just a few days, on April 1.
The administration says about 95 percent of working families
will find a few extra dollars on their paychecks starting next
month after their employers adjust tax withholding formulas.
Individuals will get up to $400 total, and married couples $800.
"Every day, every week, we see these funds going from
into American communities and I believe we're starting to see
some mild impact from this already," Biden said before reporters
were escorted out of his office in the
"We have 18 months to get this job done, and get it done right,"
There were signs this week that consumers' appetites to spend
might be stirring again. Obama also spoke Thursday at an
online town hall at the White House about a significant jump in
applications to refinance home mortgages.
Asked whether it was too soon to say the recession had hit
bottom, Biden said he thought it was premature.
"But we're hopeful," he said.
Biden also announced $3.2 billion in grants for energy
efficiency and conservation projects that reduce energy use and
fossil fuel emissions. That money is on top of $8 billion
the Energy Department recently released for spending on
weatherization and state energy projects.