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Will California residents on Social Security get a Golden State Stimulus check this year?

Residents need to have at least $1 of income and file a tax return to receive the Golden State Stimulus, perhaps millions of beneficiaries were left out.

Residents need to have at least $1 of income and file a tax return to receive the Golden State Stimulus, perhaps millions of beneficiaries were left out.

California approved two rounds of Golden State Stimulus payments to residents across the state. The first round was targeted at those who were Earned Income Tax Credit recipients and those ineligible for federal stimulus checks.

The second round covered all residents who claimed between $1 and $75,000 of adjusted gross income and filed a tax return for 2020 giving access to the stimulus measure to about two thirds of Californians. But some of the state’s most vulnerable were still potentially left out, those whose only income were benefits excluded from adjusted gross income qualification.

Also see:

How many Social Security beneficiaries may miss out on Golden State Stimulus?

Earned income is often a limitation to receiving tax benefits either at the state level or federal. Income that comes from unemployment or Social Security are common examples of this. In order to qualify for the second round of Golden State Stimulus checks the California Tax Franchise Board put out a list of income that couldn’t count toward the income requirements.

In addition to the before mentioned the following forms of income were excluded:

  • CalWorks and CalFresh benefits
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • State Supplementary Payment (SSP)
  • Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)
  • State Disability Insurance (SDI) and VA disability benefits

The exact number of beneficiaries that won’t see a Golden State Stimulus isn’t known. However, there were over 6.1 million Social Security beneficiaries in California in 2020, including survivors of beneficiaries and children, according to Social Security Administration data.

Some of those who receive monthly benefits payments may have filed a tax return declaring some form on income in 2020 that counted toward California adjusted gross income minimum of $1 needed to receive a Golden State Stimulus check.

The following forms of income were included:

  • Wages and self-employment income
  • Tips
  • Interest (eg savings account)
  • Dividends
  • Rental income
  • Pension/retirement income
  • Gains on a sale of property

When will residents see their Golden State Stimulus checks?

Filing a 2020 tax return was another requirement necessary to receive state level stimulus checks in California. Residents who filed with a Social Security Number or an ITIN could receive one of the different Golden State Stimulus payments from the first or second round. The deadline to file a 2020 tax return was 15 October 2021.

The state began sending out payments for the first round in April and the first payments for the second round began hitting bank accounts early September. The California Franchise Tax Board expects to send the majority of direct deposit payments by 31 October. The state tax authority warns that some refunds, and thus stimulus payments, may take longer to process.

Payments via paper check for the second round didn’t begin until 06 October and those will take time to move through the postal system. Paper check payments are scheduled to go out based on a filers ZIP code. The last payments will be sent 11 January 2022 according to the agency’s schedule.


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