How many people will get the second $600 Golden State stimulus check in California?
The state of California is spending billions of dollars to get the $600 direct payments out to an estimated two-thirds of residents after announcing a budget surplus.
Earlier this year Gov. Gavin Newsom passed the Golden State Stimulus bill, a legislative package designed to provide immediate financial relief to California’s struggling individuals and businesses.
However after announcing a mammoth $75.7 billion budget surplus for 2020, Newsom revealed that he would be expanding the Golden State Stimulus bill’s $600 stimulus checks to cover 78% of California taxpayers.
The California Comeback Plan will see an estimated 9.4 million Californians, who earn up to $75,000 per year, included in the $600 stimulus check payments. The total cost to the state of their addition is expected to reach $5.6 billion.
Others included in the Golden State stimulus check expansion
The main addition with the new legislative package is that huge band of low- and middle-income earners now eligible for the direct payments, but there are other changes too.
For the first time recipients of the state-wide stimulus checks will be entitled to extra cash if they claim tax dependents. Anyone who claimed a dependent will get an additional $500, bringing their total to $1,100, but is limited to one-per-filer. The total cost is expected to be around $2.2 billion.
Another inclusion will see undocumented families with children also receive a boost to their stimulus check. Taxpayers who file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) are typically those who do not have a Social Security number but are still obliged to pay taxes. Any ITIN filers earning less than $75,000 with at least one dependent will receive a $1,000 stimulus check payment, at a total cost of $260 million.
Disabled residents feel abandoned by latest stimulus check expansion
The California Comeback Plan expands eligibility for the $600 stimulus checks to roughly two-thirds of all Californians, but some feel excluded by the new requirements. A report from CalMatters details how some disabled residents are finding themselves out of pocket because they do not satisfy the programme’s working limits.
Janet Clendenin, who suffers diabetes, arthritis, migraines, back injuries and nerve pain, has been unable to work for the last six years and is dependent on Social Security Disability Insurance. The programme provides her with just $1,056 a month and is not included in the eligibility requirements for the latest Golden State stimulus checks.
Many disability advocates argue that this is emblematic of the poor treatments that disabled Californians have experienced from state bodies during the pandemic. Access to the new $600 payments is only open to disabled people who receive the Supplemental Security Income, an alternative assistance programme.
“Overall the state has been uneven in how it’s helped people with disabilities navigate the pandemic,” said Andrew Imparato, executive director of Disability Rights California. “A lot of people with disabilities have had to fend for themselves.”