Extra $250 from Social Security

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WASHINGTON - People who collect Social Security or disability benefits will share $13 billion in federal money, each receiving a one-time, $250 payment beginning in May, Vice President Joe Biden said yesterday.

Biden also announced $3.2 billion in grants for energy efficiency and conservation projects nationwide. Both pots of money are from the economic recovery bill President Barack Obama signed into law in February. Obama says the $787-billion measure will help end the recession by saving and creating 3.5 million jobs by the end of 2010, and putting money into people's pockets.

More than 50 million recipients of Social Security and Supplemental Security Income, or SSI, will receive the $250 payments. The payments will begin in May and continue during the month.

Recipients won't have to do anything to get the money, which will be sent separately from their regular monthly benefit. Biden noted the Social Security Administration was about six weeks ahead of schedule for distributing the payments.

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"These folks need the money," he said at the start of a meeting on the stimulus program with Cabinet secretaries and representatives from other departments. "People are going to be actually spending that money." Biden oversees enactment of the stimulus program.

The vice president also noted a tax cut included in the stimulus bill will take effect in just a few days, on April 1. Individuals will get up to $400 total, and married couples $800.

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