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$600 Golden State Stimulus check: how to track your payment

California began sending Golden State Stimulus checks in mid-April and many are still waiting to receive their benefits.

$600 Golden State Stimulus check: how to track your payment
FREDERIC J. BROWN AFP

From August to October 2020, nearly a quarter of low-income families in California reported that they were struggling to provide food for their household. In an effort to assist these families, the Golden State passed a $9.6 billion dollar covid-19 relief package.

The relief package includes assistance to small businesses, extended and enhanced child care benefits for essential workers, funding to support farm workers who need to quarantine after testing positive for covid-19, millions to food shelters to help support them in their efforts to alleviate hunger across the state.

Additionally, the bill includes a $600 direct payment to low-income Californians who have been hit especially hard by the pandemic.

Who is eligible to receive the Golden State Stimulus check?

The legislation allocates funds for a total of 5.7 million payments to be made. Those eligible to receive a Golden State Stimulus check include:

• • Those earning less than $30,000 per year

• • Households who received the Earned Income Tax Credit for 2020

• • Anyone unable to receive recent federal payment because they do not have a Social Security Number, but who have an Individual Tax Identification Number and income of less than $75,000

• • Households in the CalWORKS public assistance programme

• • Those who qualify for the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment

• • Recipients of the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants

How to track your payment

Unlike the stimulus checks that have been sent by the federal government, the State of California does not allow the recipient to track their payments online. Rather, the California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) has provided a timeline for when those eligible should receive their payments based on when they file their state income taxes.

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

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

You will receive your stimulus payment beginning after 15 April, 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 2 March, 2021 and 23 April, 2021:

You will receive your stimulus payment beginning after 1 May .

• 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 23 April, 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.

How does eligibility differ for the Golden State stimulus check from the payments made by the federal government?

There are two main differences in the eligibility requirements between the two types of direct payments.

The first is based on income. The checks sent by the State of California are going to workers making $30,000 or less, while at the federal level the cap for individuals was set at $75,000.

The second difference relates to the types of identification needed to qualify. To receive a stimulus check from the federal government, one must have a Social Security number. This left immigrant residents in California without federal aid.

Rather than requiring a Social Security number, California requires a recipient to have an individual tax identification number (ITIN), which workers use when filing their taxes. The decision was made to use the ITIN numbers to support immigrant and mixed-status families to receive benefits that they were unable to claim from the federal government. Some advocacy organizations have stated that they appreciate that these changes were made but highlight that much more could be done by state lawmakers to fill the gaps faced by these workers and their families.