The check is in the mail - Stimulus payments arriving locally

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By Nathan L. McBroom

Over the next seven weeks, thousands of federal checks will be delivered locally that are expected to bring millions of dollars into the community.

Suzette Boesing, officer-in-charge at the Simpsonville post office, said the first of the federal economic stimulus package checks started being delivered locally two weeks ago.

Boesing, who was one of the first to receive a check, said the checks are being distributed according to a schedule that is based on the last two digits of the taxpayer's Social Security number. Boesing said she is hoping to use the money to buy a new TV with her check.

The federal government started sending out the checks in order to jump-start a sluggish economy. It is estimated that over 130 million households in the nation will receive a check.

Those who qualify will receive up to $600 for individuals and up to $1,200 for married couples. Parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17.

The criterion for receiving the money is simple: Be a taxpayer with a valid Social Security number, have $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return. That's it. According to the IRS website, "the IRS will take care of the rest."

According to a calculation by the Sentinel-News, the stimulus package could bring more than $10 million to individuals and families in the community.

For some folks in the community the checks mean a shopping spree; for some it's a chance to pay off their bills.

Michelle English, a wife and mother of two, said she is not sure if her family will receive a check. She said if they do receive one she would like to spend the money in order to boost the economy.

"I am kind of a rule keeper," she said. "If Mr. Bush wants me to spend that money, then I feel that that is what I should do."

Others are planning to use the money to pay bills.

Sarah Wright said if she receives anything from the stimulus package she will pay off some of her debt.

"It will just help make up for the money we paid out in taxes," she said. "We're not going to Disney World on it."

State Rep. Brad Montell said the stimulus package is designed to encourage people to go out and spend money. Montell said the people that he has talked to intend to do just that.

Most people will receive two notices from the IRS concerning the check. The first is a general notice from the IRS that will explain the stimulus payment program. The second notice will confirm the recipients' eligibility, the payment amount and the approximate timetable for the payment. According to the IRS press release it is important for taxpayers to save these notices to assist them when they prepare their 2008 tax return next year.

Check Schedule

Paper checks will be sent our according to the last two digits of taxpayers' Social Security number. Payments will be mailed no later than the day listed.

Last two SS digits: Date sent:

00 through 09 May 16

10 through 18 May 23

19 through 25 May 30

26 through 38 June 6

39 through 51 June 13

52 through 63 June 20

64 through 75 June 27

76 through 87 July 4

88 through 99 July 11