GN 02820.001 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): Introduction
NOTE:Effective 01/01/2011, no further Economic Recovery Payments (ERP) can be made under
the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). For non-receipt or limited
payability issues involving ERP certified before 12/31/10, see EM-11024 SEN dated
4/19/2011. After 9/30/11 we will no longer have authority to issue ERPs due to lack
of stimulus funds, see AM-11117 SEN dated 9/13/11.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), P.L. 111-5, was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009.
The ARRA, Section 2201, authorizes a one-time $250 Economic Recovery Payment (ERP)
to certain Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries and
to Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) beneficiaries.
The ARRA does not amend the Social Security Act and the ERP is not a Social Security
or SSI benefit. Individuals may only receive one ERP.
The ERP will be issued separately and will not be included in regular monthly benefit
payments. It will be received in the same way that benefit payments are currently
received (i.e. by check, direct deposit or Direct Express debit card).
The Social Security Administration is responsible for certifying and paying individuals
eligible under Social Security or SSI. In concurrent Title II/Title XVI cases, the
ERP will be paid to the SSI recipient. The RRB and VA will be responsible for certifying
and paying individuals under their respective programs.
The priority order of payment is:
The Economic Recovery List Query (ERLQ) is a web-based query that provides pre-payment and post-payment information
for each individual who is selected to receive an ERP because of eligibility for SSI,
Social Security, Railroad Retirement Board, or Veterans Administration benefits. Beneficiaries
who are determined to be ineligible to receive an ERP at selection will not have information
posted to the ERLQ. This query will be accessible by SSA employees only.
Only SSA employees had access to the ERLQ link at http://erl.ba.ssa.gov/. (Please note that this link is no longer active.)
The ERP will not be subject to the garnishment or overpayment provisions of the Social
Security Act. However, the ERP will be subject to offset to collect delinquent debts
to the Department of the Treasury (TD) under the Treasury Offset Program (TOP).
The initial ERP notices will be mailed in April 2009 and payments will be issued in
May 2009. Callers should be advised that beginning June 4, 2009, we will be able to
respond to inquiries regarding nonreceipt of the ERP.
RRB and VA inquiries should be referred to:
Railroad Retirement Board
1 (877) 772-5772 www.rrb.gov
TTY/TDD 1 (312) 751-4701
Department of Veterans Affairs
1 (800) 827-1000 www.va.gov
TTY/TDD 1 (800) 829-4833