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$600 Golden State stimulus check: who qualifies in California?

California has started to send direct payments to millions of residents, but who qualifies, and how can those eligible claim the benefit?

$600 Golden State stimulus check: who qualifies in California?
JUSTIN SULLIVAN AFP

One of the provisions agreed to in state-wide stimulus bill provisions passed back in February 2021 was a $600 direct payment to residents who had been hit hard by the pandemic. At the time of the bill’s passing, California Gov. Gavin Newsom stated that 5.7 million payments would be made to low-income Californians.

Who qualifies for the Golden State Stimulus check?

According to state resources, the eligibility requirements to receive a check under the program you must:

• Have filed your 2020 taxes


• Be either:
 A CalEITC (California Earned Income Tax Credit) recipient
 or an ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) filer who made $75,000 or less (total CA adjusted gross income) 


• Live in California for more than half of the 2020 tax year
 • Be a California resident on the date payment is issued


• Not be eligible to be claimed as a dependent


The California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) has also stated that “You must include your ITIN on your tax return. Your ITIN cannot be pending. Wait to file your tax return until you have your ITIN. You are eligible for the GSS if you file on or before October 15.”

How to claim your payment

The CFTB announced that they began sending checks on 15 April to those who had filed their taxes by March 1st and had set up direct deposit. To receive a payment, eligible Californians must submit their 2020 tax returns before October 15, 2021.

The CFTB has provided the following information on when receipts can expect their payments:

If you filed your tax return between January 1, 2021 and March 1, 2021:

You will receive your stimulus payment beginning after April 15, 2021.

• Direct deposits: Allow up to 2 weeks


• Paper checks: Allow up to 4 to 6 weeks for mailing


If you filed your tax return between March 2, 2021 and April 23, 2021:

You will receive your stimulus payment beginning after May 1.

• Direct deposits: Allow up to 2 weeks


• Paper checks: Allow up to 4 to 6 weeks for mailing


If you file your tax return after April 23, 2021:

• Direct deposits: Allow up to 45 days after your return has processed


• Paper checks: Allow up to 60 days after your return has processed


If you have not received your check based on the timeline above, you can contact the CFTB through online chat weekdays from 8 AM to 5 PM PDT, by phone at the same hours on (800) 852-5711 or (916) 845-6500 for those outside the US, or by mail at the following address:

Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 942840, Sacramento CA 94240-0040.