Second Golden State stimulus in California: how can you receive your payment?

Two-thirds of California residents will receive a $600 Golden State stimulus check from the state government in light of a historic budget surplus.

Second Golden State stimulus in California: how can you receive your payment?

Starting 1 September, the California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) will begin distributing the second round of Golden State Stimulus checks through direct deposit or by mail.

Those making less than $75,000 a year will be sent a $600 check. This is the second round of Golden State Stimulus (GSS) checks that have been sent this year. Last spring, those in the state making under $30,000 a year who submitted a tax return received a $600 check as well.

Direct Deposit

Those who opted to have their tax refund sent through direct deposit will receive their GSS to the same account.

The CFTB stated that “most direct deposit stimulus payments will be issued between September 1, 2021, and October 15, 2021.”

Taxes were due back in May, but given the challenges caused by the pandemic, the deadline was extended until 15 October. The CFTB has warned that those who have submitted their tax return after 20 August 2021 should expect to wait up to 45 days for their return to be processed and for their check to be sent. 

Physical Checks

For those who will receive their GSS through the mail, the date for when it can be expected depends on their zip code.

The CFTB said last month that the checks would be sent in six phases beginning on 4 October.

Physical Check Mailing Timeline

Last 3 digits of ZIP code

Mailing timeframes


10/04/2021 through 10/22/2021


10/18/2021 through 11/05/2021


11/1/2021 through 11/19/2021


11/15/2021 through 12/03/2021


11/29/2021 through 12/17/2021


12/13/2021 through 12/31/2021

Source: California Tax Franchise Board, 2021

If one submits their tax return after the date for when their payment was scheduled, based on the last three digits of their zip code, 60 days should be allowed for the return and check to be processed.

How to calculate the value of my Golden State Stimulus Check

The CFTB provides an online tool that allows users to calculate their payments.

Additionally, the organization has created various tables and charts explaining the breakdown of the payments based on one’s family size and tax filing status.

Regardless of filing status, there are a few general requirements that must be met, including:

  • Submission of a 2020 tax return by 15 October 2021

  • Having an adjusted gross income between $1 to $75,000 for the 2020 tax year OR “wages of $0 to $75,000 for the 2020 tax year.” 

  • Having been a California resident for more than half of the 2020 tax year 

  • Being a resident when the payment is distributed 

  • Being an independent tax filer, meaning that you are not claimed as a dependent on another filer’s tax return. 

Tax Filer Status #1: Social Security Number

For those in the state who file their taxes using a Social Security Number, the amount distributed varies based on if you are in the care of dependents and if you already claimed a check under GSS I.

For those who claimed a check under GSS I and are not in the care of dependents, no check will be sent during GSS II.

Those in the care of dependents and who received a $600 GSS check earlier this year will be sent $500.

Taxpayers who did not receive a check during GSS I and did not claim a dependent will receive $600, while those who claim a dependent will receive $1,100.

Tax Filer Status #2: Individual Tax Identification Number

Most filers who use an ITIN do so because they do not have an SSN due to their immigration status.

ITIN filers who made under $75,000 were distributed a $600 check under GSS I. The income level for this tax filing status was increased to support immigrants who could not claim federal unemployment benefits or stimulus checks.

These filers were offered checks during GSS I, and if they were not claimed in the spring, they can be claimed now.

Those who received a check during GSS I who are in the care of dependent are still eligible to receive a $1000 check under GSS II.

For ITIN filers who received a check under GSS, I and are not in the care of dependents, no check during will be sent. If you have yet to claim your GSS I check, there is still time. The only action that must be taken is to submit a tax return to the CFTB by 15 October.