Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that, as a result of the Congressional Delegates’ work on the stimulus bill which was recently passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama, individuals living in the Territories who received Social Security or Veterans benefits at any time during the months of November and December 2008, or January 2009, will also receive a one-time economic recovery payment of $250.
Commissioner Michael Astrue of the Social Security Administration informed Faleomavaega in a letter that the one-time economic recovery payment of $250.00 will be mailed out from the U.S. Department of Treasury to recipients of Social Security and/or Veterans Benefits in American Samoa during the month of May 2009.
According to Commissioner Astrue, a beneficiary’s address of record must be in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, or the Northern Marianas Islands to qualify to receive the recovery payment. This one-time payment will be separate from the recipient’s regular benefits and it will be sent in a method one is currently using to receive these benefits, as in direct deposit, by check in the mail or direct express debit account.
“I am pleased that American Samoa is included in this important one-time economic payment program in which recipients of Social Security and Veterans benefits in our territory will automatically receive additional funds to help offset the high cost of living expenses and to take care of their families during these difficult economic times,” Faleomavaega said.
“This one-time recovery payment will not count as income for Social Security benefits or as a resource in the month of May or any of the following nine months of 2009. This means the recipient’s total income for the month will not be affected. If both the husband and wife are receiving benefits from either Social Security or Veterans benefits, each will get a check of the one-time payment. Children under the age of 18, (19 if still in high school) who receive Social Security benefits are not eligible. However, adult disabled children who receive Social Security benefits on a parent’s records or a designated representative payee on record will receive the one-time payment.”
The Commissioner advises beneficiaries to call the toll-free number 1-800-325-0778 or contact your local Social Security office if you do not receive your one-time economic recovery payment by June 4, 2009. Information is also available online at www.socialsecurity.gov.
“I am grateful to my colleagues in Congress for working with us to make sure the Territories were included and treated equally. I also commend President Obama for signing the Act into law which will help stimulate our local economy and provide financial assistance to families who need it most,” Faleomavaega concluded.