UPDATE: This article references the special stimulus check sent out in 2009. It remains on this website for historical purposes. The first stimulus payments were sent Monday, June 22, 2009. All payments will be distributed by June 30, 2009. There are many rumors about additional stimulus checks. Most of these rumors are scams.
Disabled military veterans currently receiving VA Disability Benefits are eligible to receive a one-time $250 Economic-Recovery Check from the US government. This is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that President Obama signed into law in February, 2009.
Who is Eligible for the One-Time $250 Stimulus Payment?
The $250 government stimulus check is for:
- Retirees, disabled individuals and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration.
- Disabled veterans receiving benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Railroad Retirement beneficiaries.
This is a one time check that will be sent out in 2009. As of this writing, there are no plans to make this check available in 2010 or beyond.
VA Disability Beneficiaries Stimulus Check Information
If you receive disability benefits from the VA, you will be among the thousands of individuals receiving this $250 stimulus check. Here is the information you need to know:
- You will receive a one time $250 check.
- You will receive the payment in the same method you receive your regular disability payment (direct deposit or physical check).
- Your $250 stimulus payment will not be included in your regular VA disability payment.
- The $250 stimulus check is not considered taxable income.
- The $250 stimulus check will not affect your disability rating or benefits.
- Your check may be used to offset debts owed to federal or state agencies (back taxes, child support, etc.).
- You can only receive one $250 stimulus payment, even if you are eligible for more than one payment, such as from Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI)m or the Railroad Retirement Board. If you receive more than one check you will need to return it, or it will be taken from your account at a later date.
- The stimulus check should show up in your bank account as an electronic transfer from the “US Treasury 220 VA ERP.”
When Will You Receive Your $250 Stimulus Check?
Disabled veterans should receive their payment by July 10, 2009. If you do not receive it by then, you should contact the Veterans Affairs Administration by e-mail, letter, or phone. Be sure to include your VA file number (usually SSN) when you contact them. Here is the contact information:
- Internet: https://iris.va.gov
- Phone: 1-800-827-1000, or 1-800-829-4833 (TDD)
- Mail: Department of Veterans Affairs, 1240 E 9th St, Cleveland OH, 44199
Related Economic Stimulus Information
The following information applies to the economic stimulus program that was first announced in 2008. This page has been updated for clarification and to remove broken links. This page serves as a historical reference for the economic stimulus program.
What is the economic stimulus package?
The economic stimulus package is a change in the tax code that will eliminate the 10% bracket from 10% to zero for the first $6,000 of taxable income in 2008. In order to spur the economy, the government made the rebate effective immediately, giving people more money to spend now. For more information about the rebate, read the economic stimulus explained.
Who is eligible for the rebate?
The economic stimulus rebate check is available to qualifying tax payers, based on IRS calculations. Single tax filers with adjusted gross income (AGI) less than $75,000 and couples filing jointly with AGIs less that $150,000 will qualify for full rebates. Those with AGI levels above the maximum will receive a reduced rebate based on a phase-out schedule.
Persons who do not owe income taxes, but earned at least $3,000 in wages, Social Security benefits, or veterans disability benefits, will get rebate checks of $300 for individuals and $600 for couples.
How much will I receive for the rebate?
Qualifying single filers (AGI less than $75,000) will get rebates of up to $600. Qualifying couples (AGI less than $150,000) will get rebates of up to $1,200, plus $300 per dependent child younger than 17, with no maximum number of eligible children. The rebate starts out at $300 per person, but rises to $600 per person to match the taxes you will pay based on your 2007 Adjusted Gross Income (AGI).
Your AGI is generally lower than your salary, and is based on your earnings after tax deductions such as 401(k) and Traditional IRA investments and other qualified deductions. However, if you earn above a set limit, you may receive less than $600. The tax rebate decreases by $50 for every $1,000 earned above $75,000.
What do I have to do to get my rebate check?
If you file taxes in 2007 and qualify for the rebate, it will be automatically sent to you. To receive the economic stimulus rebate, you are required file a 2007 tax return, either a form 1040, 1040A or 1040-EZ. If you are someone who normally doesn’t file a tax return (for example, a pensioner, retiree, of someone whose income is based on Social Security, military veteran’s disability, or other income), you will need to file a tax return in order to receive the rebate.
When will I get my economic stimulus rebate check?
If you filed your tax return by the April 15th deadline, you will receive your rebate check automatically starting May 2. For those who elected to receive their rebate check via electronic deposit, checks will begin being sent by the IRS on May 2nd. For those who will receive their check via mail, the checks will be sent starting May 16. If you filed your taxes late or filed for an extension, you may not receive your rebate check for several weeks after you file, and there have been some reports that it may take several months to receive your rebate.
My only income is military disability pay. Will I receive a rebate?
Yes. People receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs for disability, pension, or survivors’ benefits are eligible to receive the economic stimulus rebate. If you have already filed a return, you will automatically receive the rebate.
For eligible veterans who do not normally file a tax return, the IRS has prepared a 10-page informational package that includes instructions, a sample Form 1040A and a blank Form 1040A — everything needed to file a tax form today.
- Package 1040A-3, 8-page informational package for people who normally do not file a tax return.
Tax filers should note that Line 14a of the Form 1040A and Line 20a of Form 1040 are designated for Social Security. However, these lines should also be used to include any veterans’ benefits.
For more information, go to the economic stimulus FAQ section for those receiving military benefits.
Others may need to amend a previously filed tax return to include benefits to reach the $3,000 qualifying income level. Adding these benefits on an amended tax return will not increase an individual’s tax liability but will establish eligibility for the stimulus payment. Taxpayers can use IRS Form 1040X to amend a tax return in order to qualify for the stimulus payment. File the form after April 14, 2008, and allow 8-12 weeks of processing time before making any inquiries about the payment. See a sample with instructions.
All of my income in 2007 came from a tax free zone. Will I still receive the rebate?
Yes. As long as you file your taxes and otherwise qualify, you will automatically receive your rebate check.
I was in a tax free zone and filed for an extension on my taxes. Will I still receive the rebate?
Yes. The rebates are based on taxpayers’ 2007 tax returns. Those who file extensions or file late would likely receive their checks later than regular filers, but they will still receive them. The checks will be sent out automatically; taxpayers don’t need to apply. If you are unsure whether you are eligible to file an extension without penalties, consult the Military Tax Extension IRS FAQ page or go to a qualified tax professional for more details.
Not all Veteran’s Have Received Their Economic Stimulus Checks Yet
I was doing some reading online last night and I read something that alarmed me: There are over 5 million unclaimed economic stimulus checks currently held by the IRS. A large percentage of those are held by military veterans whose primary source of income is VA benefits or Social Security checks.
But there is a problem… many people whose sole source income comes from Social Security or VA benefits are not required to file taxes with the IRS every year. The problem is that the only way to receive the economic stimulus rebate is to file taxes with the IRS. Many people who are eligible for the stimulus rebate have not received it because they did not file taxes, because they are not normally required to do so. If you know anyone who may be in this situation, please do them a favor and let them know they might be eligible for a rebate.
The stimulus check was automatically sent out to qualifying tax filers, but if you have not yet received your rebate, check, there is still time.
How to claim your stimulus check
First, make sure you filed your taxes. You will not receive a stimulus check if you do not file taxes.
Second, learn when you should receive your rebate. The best way to do this is to use the official stimulus payment tracker provided by the IRS web site. You will need to have information from your 2007 tax return, so be sure to have that handy when you use this online tool.
Third, check for reasons that may delay your rebate check. There may be legitimate reasons for receiving your economic stimulus payment late, or for not receiving it at all.
- If you filed your taxes late, your rebate check will be delayed. Expect a 2-6 week delay if you filed your taxes late. You must file by Oct. 15th 2008 to receive a rebate this year.
- Your stimulus rebate check was garnished. Your check can be garnished by the Treasury Offset Program. If your money was scheduled to be garnished, you should have received a notice. Reasons can include unpaid child support, back taxes, or student loans.
- You PCS’d or changed addresses. The IRS will not forward rebate checks, so you need to notify them if you moved. You should file a Form 8822 with the IRS, and a change of address notice with the U.S. Postal Service.
Fourth, contact the IRS. If all else fails, contact the people who know best. Try calling the IRS at 1-866-234-2942. Again, be patient. IRS workers are receiving hundreds of calls daily, and need time to process your information. You will get much better results if you are friendly with the agent handling your claim.
Fifth, have patience. Above all else, be prepared to wait. The checks can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to be sent out. In addition, IRS agents are handling hundreds of calls daily, so be patient with them.
The economic stimulus program was a massive undertaking and provided billions of dollars in income to American taxpayers. This program has officially ended. We will update this page as needed or if there is another stimulus program.