ProPublica

Journalism in the Public Interest

Cancel

Stimulus Checks in the Mail, But With Caveats Included

 Yesterday, the government issued the first batch of one-time $250 stimulus checks. Between now and June 4th, over 50 million people who get Social Security and SSI benefits will get $250 checks that, ideally, they will plow back into the economy.

Some officials are touting the checks as an antidote for the relatively molasses-paced dispersal of stimulus money. "This is a point in time where some of the first big chunks of stimulus money is actually going into the economy," Social Security commissioner Michael Astrue told CNN.

But millions of seniors might not want to use their $250 to oil the economy’s creaky joints just yet. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 percent of the 40 million or so U.S. residents 65 and over still work, making them eligible for the Making Work Pay tax credit. Any senior who makes less than $75,000 is going to get the stimulus check and the Making Work Pay tax credit. But getting both is against the rules, so as impolite as it is to give only to take back, millions of seniors are going to find that $250 gift from the government deducted from their tax credit next spring. 

Ms. Accountability

May 8, 2009, 11:51 a.m.

Doesn’t it still count as a stimulus if the seniors spend the $250 now only to give it back later? I thought the point of stimulus was short term.

This is a JOKE!  Here’s my take and I really would like someone to help educate me on this…Why are we giving people on social security benefits $250.00??? What’s being done for middle class, middle age families?  OH YEAH, we get 25 bucks extra every two weeks.  Give me a break, literally, haven’t the leaders of our country ever had to pay any household bills?  Great you just paid 1/2 of my internet bill - WOO HOO.  Really feels like a slap in the face.  OH, if I buy a house, right now a poor investement seeing how prices are still over inflated, I’ll get an 8,000.00 tax credit.  What about helping me get that 20% down payment together so I’m not in the hole as soon as I sign my name to the loan papers that the banks who recieved billions of our tax dollars don’t seem to be so keen to even issue. Don’t mean to ramble, just frustrating!

I thought the stimulus checks were only for retirees that no longer work…in other words we can’t recieve tax credits because we are no longer working so instead we are getting a stimulus check.

This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Eye on the Stimulus

Eye on the Stimulus

Officials have struggled to spend the nearly $800 billion stimulus package quickly and effectively.

Get Updates

Stay on top of what we’re working on by subscribing to our email digest.

optional