U.S. Congressman Dan Boren announced Wednesday  that a $250 economic recovery payment for Social Security recipients, which was a part to the recently passed Stimulus Bill, will begin to be mailed out today.  In addition, by mid-May payments to recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits will also be mailed out.

“These economic recovery payments will make a real difference in the lives of older Americans and disabled citizens in the U.S. and Oklahoma – many of whom have been hit especially hard by the economic downturn,” said Boren. 

In the state of Oklahoma, 601,866 beneficiaries will receive a $250 check.  While Oklahoma is poised to receive over $169 million in stimulus checks, the Second Congressional District will receive almost $41 million.  Nationwide, these payments total more than $13 billion and will go out to more than 50 million people bringing another boost to our economy through consumer spending.

“In addition to creating jobs, investing in roads and civic infrastructure, and providing tax cuts for 95 percent of working families, the Economic Recovery Act contains these $250 stimulus checks for millions of older Americans, disabled veterans, and others – who are some of our most vulnerable citizens.  Too often, many opponents of the Economic Recovery Act forget that nearly a third of the stimulus package was made-up of tax cuts for middle and lower class working families.  These tax provisions are a crucial piece of this historic bill which I was proud to support,” Boren said.

Millions of the Social Security recipients receiving these payments are widowed, divorced, or single and among the seniors with the lowest average incomes.  These payments will make a difference: 

* Social Security is the only source of income for nearly one-third of all non-married seniors receiving Social Security.

* The median annual income for non-married Social Security recipients over age 65 who are women is only $13,151.  The median annual income of non-married Social Security recipients over age 65 who are men is only $17,611.

* Nearly 30 percent of non-married Social Security recipients who are women over age 65 are poor or near-poor – with 17.4 percent living below the federal poverty line and another 10.8 percent with incomes below 125 percent of the poverty line.

In addition to the economic recovery payments being made to Social Security and SSI recipients, the Recovery Act also provides these payments to disabled veterans and Railroad Retirement recipients.  The payments to Railroad Retirement recipients are scheduled to begin to go out in late May and the payments to disabled veterans in June.  In total, more than 50 million Americans will get this one-time payment.

If someone regularly receives benefits from two or more of these programs – such as Social Security and Railroad Retirement, or a disabled veterans’ benefit and SSI – he or she will receive just one $250 payment.