CORONAVIRUS STIMULUS CHECKS

How many Golden State stimulus checks have been sent?

The CFTB is issuing millions of direct payments to residents as part of the California Comeback Plan, but how many Californians have received the money?

0
How many Golden State stimulus checks have been sent?
PATRICK T. FALLON AFP

On Friday, 15 October the California Franchise Tax Board (CFTB) sent out the next batch of stimulus checks for California residents, as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s California Comeback Plan.

The $100 billion stimulus package was designed to rejuvenate a California economy that had been ravaged by covid-19, with the state’s hugely lucrative hospitality and tourism sectors devastated by the pandemic restrictions.

An estimated two-thirds of all California residents were eligible for a $500 payment, and another 1.2 million people received a stimulus check as part of the plan. In total, roughly $890 million was spent by the state to fund the 15 October payment run. This takes the number of people to have received a Golden State stimulus check to over four million.

When will the next batch of California stimulus checks arrive?

In total roughly nine million people are in line to receive a payment but less than half of that number have so far. The deadline to file state tax returns, which is necessary to trigger payment of the stimulus check, was 15 October and the CFTB now has a raft of recently-submitted returns to process.

They have confirmed that the next batch of paper checks will be mailed out on 1 November, while the remaining direct deposits will be distributed shortly after.

Given the huge scale of the operation, in the country’s most populous state, the CFTB have blamed the "various processing constraints, including printing and mailing," associated with the stimulus check distribution.

The time constraints also affected "the state's ability to validate eligibility, protect against fraud and issue GSS II payments simultaneously with other mandatory disbursements.”

States offer their own stimulus check alternatives

The prospect of a nation-wide fourth stimulus check appears extremely unlikely in the short-term, but a number of states have looked to implement their own support programmes for residents. California is one of few to provide a stimulus check like the federal government did, but there are payments available in many states.

Arizona, for example, is offering a $2,000 direct payment for unemployed residents who find full-time work, or $1,000 if they find a part-time job. Likewise, the Connecticut ‘Back to Work CT’ initiative offers a cash incentive for the first 10,000 residents who regain employment.

The likes of Florida, Michigan, Tennessee and Texas have all passed legislation which provides a cash payment, or even a permanent pay increase, for teachers and other school employees, as a thank you for their work during the pandemic.

For a full state-by-state list of the various financial support programmes, check out The complete guide to a fourth stimulus check.