Synopsis: Social Security Disability Insurance recipients can look forward to receiving a one-time $250 bonus payment by early summer.
Social Security Disability Insurance recipients can look forward to receiving a one-time $250 bonus payment by early summer, according to Allsup, which represents tens of thousands of people in the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) process each year.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, recently signed by President Obama, launches a $787 billion national economic stimulus package that includes the one-time $250 payments to those eligible for SSDI, Social Security retirement, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), railroad retirement benefits and U.S. veterans disability compensation or pension benefits.
"This additional income, though minimal, can help offset the rising costs for people with disabilities," said Paul Gada, personal financial planning director at Allsup. "Recipients may want to consider using it toward healthcare costs, especially if they are still in the 24-month waiting period to become eligible for Medicare benefits."
The good news is even better for couples who receive Social Security benefits - because each recipient will receive a one-time $250 payment. "That means you'll have an additional $500 in income available, which could be an important cushion," said Mr. Gada. "For example, this amount could be put toward an emergency fund."
SSDI is a federally mandated insurance program overseen by the Social Security Administration (SSA) that operates separately from the retirement and SSI programs. SSDI provides monthly benefits to individuals who are under full retirement age (age 65 or older) and who can no longer work because of a disability (injury, illness or condition) that is expected to last for at least 12 months or is terminal. Individuals must have paid FICA taxes to be eligible. More details are provided in the "SSDI Overview" on Allsup.com.
More Details On The $250 Bonus Payments
To help clarify details about the $250 bonuses to SSDI recipients, Allsup has outlined answers to common questions about the one-time payment.
Who is eligible for the $250
Anyone who was receiving SSDI benefits anytime during the three-month time period of Nov. 1, 2008, through Jan. 31, 2009 will receive a bonus check. In addition, beneficiaries in the Social Security retirement, SSI, railroad retirement and veterans benefits programs are eligible.
What if I got my SSDI in February 2009
Unfortunately, you will not receive the one-time $250 payment because your entitlement date was after Jan. 31, 2009.
When does the payment go out
The Social Security Administration expects everyone who is entitled to receive their payment by late May 2009.
If I'm eligible, how do I get the payment
You do not need to do anything. There is no paperwork required. You will receive the additional payment automatically using the same method that you receive your regular benefits (i.e. direct deposit, mailed check).
Will I get more than one $250 payment
Recipients are only entitled to one $250 bonus. It does not matter if you are on both SSDI, SSI or other benefit programs.
My children get dependent benefits, so will they also get a $250 bonus
No, children under age 18 (19 if still in high school) who receive Social Security benefits will not receive a bonus. However, disabled adult children will receive a payment.
If my spouse and I are both on Social Security, do we only get one $250 payment
No, each adult receiving Social Security benefits will receive a $250 payment. This means both you and your spouse will receive payments.
Will this payment affect my taxes
No, the one-time $250 payment will not be counted toward gross income for your federal income tax.
What if I don't get the payment
If you don't receive a payment by June 4, 2009, the SSA recommends contacting your local Social Security office or calling (800) 772-1213 to report that your payment did not arrive.
Reference: Allsup, Belleville, Ill., is a leading nationwide provider of financial and healthcare related services to people with disabilities. Celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2009, Allsup has helped more than 110,000 people receive their entitled Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare benefits. Allsup employs more than 550 professionals who deliver services directly to consumers and their families, or through their employers and long-term disability insurance carriers. For more information, visit www.Allsup.com