$1,000 Florida stimulus check for teachers and first responders: how to claim it

Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s $101.5 billion budget on Wednesday which includes $1,000 direct payments for first responders and educators.

$1,000 Florida stimulus check for teachers and first responders: how to claim it

In March Florida Governor Ron DeSantis proposed a one-time relief payment of $1,000 to Florida’s first responders and educators for their sacrifices and stepping up to meet the challenges of the pandemic.

With the signing of the budget last week around 174,000 Florida first responders and nearly 180,000 educators can look forward to a bonus soon. The state budget has set aside over $400 million to pay for the bonuses which the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity began working on distributing after the bonuses for first responders were announced. The Governor DeSantis has said that he expects the payments to be sent throughout the summer.

Who will be getting $1,000 “pandemic bonuses”?

In all, around 174,000 law-enforcement officers, fire-service personnel and emergency medical workers across Florida are in line to receive the payment, DeSantis said. The state budget earmarked $208.4 million for "a small token of appreciation" to “our first responders [who] worked tirelessly through the pandemic to meet the needs of our communities.”

According to a statement released by the Governor’s Office, "49,405 sworn law enforcement officers, 40,732 EMTs [emergency medical technicians], 35,811 firefighters and 33,185 paramedics in Florida," will be included in the $1,000 bonus program.

The bonuses for the teachers will come from funds in the third round of the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund that were part of the American Rescue Plan. The state is using $215 million to give a $1,000 “relief payment” to over 175,000 full-time classroom teachers and more than 3,000 principals across the state’s K-12 district schools, charter schools, and the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind.

“The past year included so much uncertainty for our state’s students, parents and educators,” DeSantis said. “In Florida, we knew how important it was for our students to return to school, and our principals and teachers answered the call.”