Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced Friday that the Treasury Department would be distributing “Recovery Rebates” ahead of schedule. The payments — $600 per individual and $1,200 per married couple, plus $300 per child — were authorized by the Economic Stimulus package Congress passed earlier this year.

People who use direct deposit will start receiving the rebates Monday. The first paper checks will be mailed May 9.

“This is good news for Americans struggling under the burden of rising gas and grocery costs, the high price of health care, and the downturn in the job and housing markets,” Capps said in a statement.

“Getting these Recovery Rebates into the hands of those who need them as soon as possible is critical to easing the strain on these families and to helping our declining economy.”