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The Office of Legislative
and Public Affairs

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Fact Sheets

Updated February 25, 2010

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
One-Time Economic Recovery Payments

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed into law, the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," Public Law 111-5, which provides a one-time payment of $250 to individuals who receive Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Railroad Retirement and Veterans' Compensation and Pension benefits.

FMS plans to issue more than 64 million payments to benefit recipients with a potential economic impact of more than $16 billion dollars. We estimate that more than 53 million of these payments will be made electronically, which saves the taxpayers approximately $20 million.

FMS expects to begin issuing payments in May 2009.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Financial Management Service (FMS), in coordination with the Social Security Administration (SSA), the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), will be responsible for issuing these payments. SSA, RRB and VA will certify the payments and provide the payment information to FMS. FMS is responsible for disbursing the payments on behalf of SSA, RRB and VA.

  • No action is required on your part to receive this payment.

  • The one-time payment will be $250. The payment will be issued separately and will not be included in your regular benefit payment.

  • The payment will be issued in the same way we currently issue your benefit. If you receive your monthly benefit by check, you will receive your one-time payment by check. If you receive your monthly benefit electronically, you will receive your one-time payment electronically on the payment date.

  • If you would like to receive your economic recovery payment and all future benefit payments electronically, sign-up for direct deposit at or call 1-800-333-1795. You may also call your paying agency-SSA, RRB or VA-to enroll in direct deposit.

  • If you receive more than one type of benefit payment, you will receive only one payment. For example, if you receive a Social Security benefit and/or SSI, and you also receive a Veterans' Compensation and Pension and/or a Railroad Retirement benefit; you will only receive one $250 payment.

  • If you owe a delinquent child support debt or a debt to a federal or state agency, the Recovery Act (see page 339) requires FMS to offset these one-time payments to collect the debt owed. If you have any questions about any child support or federal debts that you may owe, please contact the state or federal agency to which the debt is owed.

Issuance of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act payments will in no way interfere with, delay, or otherwise affect normal FMS processing of Social Security, SSI, Veterans or Railroad Retirement benefits; or vendor or tax refund payments.

Link to Your Money At Work. This will take you out of the FMS Web site.

Return to Financial Management Service Information Related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009

   Last Updated:  March 14, 2014