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