Don’t be an April fool when it comes to payments

Published 10:26 am Friday, April 17, 2009

No one likes being the target of an April fool’s prank.

If you’re receiving Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, don’t let anyone fool you regarding your special one-time recovery payment of $250 from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

To make sure no one does, we’ll state this as clearly as possible:

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All Social Security and SSI beneficiaries who are eligible for the special one-time recovery payment will have their payment issued in May;

The payment is automatic; no action is required on your part; and

There are no requests to make, no applications to complete and no fees to pay.

If you receive a visit, call or email from anyone claiming to want to help you obtain your payment, be skeptical. Do not pay anyone to help you receive your payment. And do not reveal any of your personal information to them, such as your full name, date of birth, or Social Security number. If someone requests this information for this purpose, it’s more likely they’re “out to get you” than out to get your payment for you.

In addition to people who receive Social Security and SSI benefits, people who receive benefits from Veterans Affairs and the Railroad Retirement Board will receive one-time payments of $250.

Note, however, that only one payment of $250 will be made per person, regardless of any combination of benefits that may be received.

How will your recovery payment be made? The same way that your regular monthly payments are made.

People with direct deposit will receive their payments electronically. Those who receive paper checks will receive their payments in the mail.

People who receive regular payments through the new Direct Express debit card will receive their one-time payments through the card. We will send your one-time payment separately from your Social Security or SSI benefit.

To assist in processing the payments as efficiently as possible, please do not contact Social Security — unless you have not received your payment by June 4.

More information is available at and will be updated as needed.

Rest assured that your special one-time recovery payment will be sent to you automatically.

And if it’s not received by June 4, there’s only one place you need to contact: Social Security, at your local office, or 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

To learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, visit

To learn more about Social Security, visit

Bette L. Backus is Social Security manager in Ironton.