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Maine’s $850 stimulus payments: when will the payments be made and who can apply?

Maine’s legislature passed a budget which includes $850 checks for over 850,000 Mainers who are grappling with the cost of pandemic-driven inflation.

Maine to give $850 inflation relief checks

Inflation has been rising at a clip not seen in four decades, pushing up prices on just about everything, eating into household finances. To help residents “grappling with the increased costs as a result of pandemic-driven inflation,” the Maine legislature passed a budget that included relief checks for Mainers.

An estimated 858,000 residents will be eligible for the extra cash to help cover the increased cost of things “ranging from higher energy costs to increased prices of everyday goods.” Governor Janet Mills proposal was passed overwhelmingly by the state legislature which will return half the budget surplus to the taxpayers for a total of $729.3 million.

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Who is eligible for the $850 inflation relief checks?

Unlike last year’s relief program, which was a thank you to Mainers who worked during the early days of the pandemic, there is no wage requirement this time around. The state expects to send out checks to approximately 333,000 more residents through this program.

Only full-time Maine residents that file a 2021 Maine individual income tax return and meet the income thresholds will receive the $850 inflation relief checks. Although the tax filing deadline has passed, Mainers can still submit a tax return to access the boost to their finances. However, they only have until 31 October 2022.

For those who don’t normally file a Maine individual income tax return and need assistance the state provides the following information to identify free tax help.

The income eligibility requirements are as follows:

Must have a Federal adjusted gross income (FAGI) of less than:

  • $100,000 if filing single or if married and filing separately
  • $150,000 if filing as head of household
  • $200,000 for couples filing jointly

Also, those eligible must not be claimed as a dependent on another filers tax return. Mainers can check their eligibility with Maine Revenue Services at a website for the relief checks the state has set up.

When will Maine Revenue Services send the $850 relief checks?

According to the state, Mainers can expect to start seeing the first round of checks arrive in their mailboxes in June 2022. Maine Revenue Services will send out subsequent rounds on a rolling basis through the end of the year as tax returns are received.

Residents can use the money for whatever they need to so that they can navigate the rising costs being pushed by disruptions in the supply-chain and other pandemic-related disruptions. The hope is that this one-time cash infusion will help “position Maine’s economy for continued post-pandemic prosperity.”