Basic (04-09)

GN 02820.001 The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): Introduction


Public Law (P.L.) 111-5

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:

  1. 1. 


  2. 2. 

    Social Security  

  3. 3. 


  4. 4. 


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. (Please note that this link is no longer active.)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

    TTY/TDD 1 (312) 751-4701

  • Department of Veterans Affairs    

    1 (800) 827-1000

    TTY/TDD 1 (800) 829-4833

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GN 02820.001 - The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA): Introduction - 03/31/2014
Batch run: 04/23/2019