WASHINGTON (June 25, 2009) -- The first $250 payments to veterans as part of President Obama's recovery plan were sent Monday, and officials at the Department of Veterans Affairs said all payments will be distributed by June 30.

As part of the recovery plan, VA is making one-time payments of $250 to eligible veterans and survivors to offset the effects of the current economy. VA estimates $500 million in payments will be made to approximately 1.9 million veterans and eligible beneficiaries as part of this measure.

To be eligible for the payment, VA beneficiaries must have received VA's compensation, pension, dependency and indemnity compensation, or spina bifida benefits at any time between November 2008 and January 2009. Also, beneficiaries must reside within the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

No application is necessary. VA has requested that the Department of the Treasury make the $250 payments to eligible veterans.

VA used its existing payment records to determine eligibility for the $250 payment. Beneficiaries will receive their payments the same way they receive their monthly VA benefits -- either by direct deposit or in the mail.

This payment is not countable in determining eligibility for VA pension or Parents' dependency and indemnity compensation, VA officials said. The law allows one $250-payment per person.

The payment is tax-free. VA beneficiaries who also receive benefits from the Social Security Administration or Railroad Retirement Board will be paid through those agencies, and will therefore not receive the payment from VA, offiicials said.

VA will spend more than $1.4 billion as part of President Obama's economic recovery plan to improve services to America's Veterans. VA's Internet site - www.va.gov/recovery - provides current information about VA's work to deliver its portion of recovery act funds to benefit veterans.