CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECK

$600 Golden State Stimulus check: when are they being sent?

Last month California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced details of a new stimulus bill, which will provide a one-off $600 direct payment to low-income residents.

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$600 Golden State Stimulus check: when are they being sent?
FREDERIC J. BROWN AFP

In February, the California state legislature passed a relief package known as the Golden State Stimulus bill, which aimed to provide short-term financial support for residents and businesses that were struggling with the pandemic’s consequences.

The bill was signed into law by Gov. Gavin Newsom, who told reporters: “As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most.”

One of the key elements of the $7.6 billion relief package was a round of $600 stimulus checks for low-income Californians. It took a while for the state to get the direct payments processed, but they should finally be on their way.

Who is eligible for the Golden State Stimulus direct payments?

As a supplementary direct payment for low-income residents, the Golden State Stimulus checks have considerably tighter eligibility requirements that the federal payments. California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said that the support would be aimed at addressing “the human and the economic impacts of COVID in a way that echoes President Biden’s American Rescue Plan and will help those who are hurting most.”

The following groups will receive a $600 stimulus check:

  • Residents receiving CalEITC for 2020.
  • Households with individual tax identification numbers (ITINs) and an income below $75,000.
  • Households enrolled in the CalWORKs program.
  • Recipients of Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP)
  • Recipients of aid through the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

When will the Golden State Stimulus checks be sent out?

While the federal stimulus check payments are overseen by the IRS, the Golden State Stimulus checks will be processed by the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). The multi-billion dollar package was signed into law on 23 February but the FTB have just announced that they began sending out the first wave of payments on Thursday 15 April.

The first batch of payment will be sent to CalEITC recipients, who comprise the largest proportion of recipients. But not all those who are eligible under this scheme will receive the money straight away and payments are staggered in order of tax return filings.

Those who submitted their tax return online between 1 January 2021 and 1 March 2021 will be included in the first round of payments. Those who filed electronically after 1 March will have to wait up to 45 days for their payments to land.

There is an extra delay for beneficiaries who chose to submit a paper tax return, to allow time for the filing to be received and processed. There will also be a delay for those who receive tax refunds, and therefore their stimulus check, in the form of a physical payment. The FTB warn to allow four-six weeks for paper stimulus checks to arrive in the mail.