Starting in May, the Treasury will begin sending economic stimulus payments to more than 130 million households.

To receive a payment, taxpayers must have a valid Social Security number, $3,000 of income and file a 2007 federal tax return. IRS will take care of the rest.

Eligible people will receive up to $600 ($1,200 for married couples), and parents will receive an additional $300 for each eligible child younger than 17.

Millions of retirees, disabled veterans and low-wage workers who usually are exempt from filing a tax return must do so this year in order to receive a stimulus payment.

Economic stimulus payments will be issued according to the last two-digits of the main filer’s Social Security number.

People who use direct deposit also will be among the first to receive the payments starting May 2.

Paper checks will be put in the mail starting May 16.

People with social security numbers ending in the following numbers and use direct deposit will have their check direct deposited on the following dates:

•  00-20 – May 2

•  21-75 – May 9

•  76-99 – May 16

People with social security numbers ending in the following numbers and are expecting paper checks can expect them to be mailed on the following dates:

• 00-09 – May 16

• 10-18 – May 23

• 19-25 – May 30

• 26-38 – June 6

• 39-51 – June 13

• 52-63 – June 20

• 64-75 – June 27

• 76-87 – July 4

• 88-99 – July 11

People who file a return after April 15 will receive their economic stimulus payment, but probably about two weeks later than the schedule shows.

A return must be filed by Oct.15 in order to receive a stimulus payment this year.

See the online calculator at www.irs.gov/app/espc/ for an estimate of the amount you will receive.

A small percentage of tax returns will require additional time to process and to compute a stimulus payment amount.

For these returns, stimulus payments may not be issued in accordance with the schedule above, even if the tax return was processed by April 15.