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Stimulus Checks

Find Out Who Received Checks and How Much Was Spent

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Income Taxes

Most people received tax credits, not checks.

Credit: Getty Images Senior couple reading Social Security form

Those receiving Social Security benefits got actual checks.

Credit: Getty Images

How Much Was Spent on Economic Stimulus Checks?

In total, $13 billion of the $787 billion Economic Stimulus Bill was sent out in stimulus checks. In addition, average taxpayers were budgeted to receive more than $20 billion in tax credits for the 2009 tax year and $5 billion for other tax credits. Unemployed workers were budgeted to receive $14 billion in COBRA copayments.

All told, the Stimulus Bill budgeted $65 billion for stimulus checks and credits for taxpayers and the unemployed in Fiscal Year 2009 (which ends September 30, 2009). This compared to $96 billion in stimulus checks distributed in calendar year 2008. In other words, the Obama stimulus plan will disburse $65 billion between May and October 2009 compared to $96 billion in stimulus checks sent out between May and December 2008.

When Will I Receive My Stimulus Check?

Economic stimulus checks of $250 were sent to more than 52 million Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients in May 2009. If you did not receive your check, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or contact your local Social Security office. For more information, see Social Security.

In addition, stimulus checks were sent to some recipients of Veterans Affairs (VA) or Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) benefits. If you did not receive your check, call 1-800-827-1000 for the VA or 1-877-772-5772 for the RRB or contact your local office. These are one-time payments for 2009. For more detail, see $250 Stimulus Checks from the About.com Guide to the U.S. Government, Robert Longley.

Did Average Taxpayers Receive Stimulus Checks?

The average taxpayer received a tax cut in 2009 - $400 per individual and $800 per family. Instead of stimulus checks, the tax cuts appeared as about 6% less withholding in the each paycheck, starting in June 2009. Taxpayers who made estimated payments received their tax relief of a total of $20 billion when they paid their 2009 taxes. This tax relief also applies in 2010, for a total of $66 billion. For more details, see Tax cuts and Incentives from About.com Guide to U.S. Government, Robert Longley.

What Other Stimulus Benefits Did Taxpayers Get?

In addition,certain taxpayers were eligible for tax relief as follows:
  • $70 billion to continue the AMT tax shelter. In 2009, $2 billion will be was budgeted.
  • Greater access to child tax credit for working poor and expand earned-income tax credit to families with three children.
  • A $2,500 college tuition tax credit.
  • More than $1 billion was budgeted for an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers in 2009.
  • Deduction of sales tax on new car purchases.
  • Nearly $1 billion was budgeted for suspension of taxes on unemployment benefits in 2009.
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