On Tuesday, October 5th, California distributed the third round of Golden State Stimulus II checks. Approximately 705,000 payments were issued, with an estimated total value of $480 million, according to the California Franchise Tax Board. This number includes 375,000 paper checks that were sent out in the first batch to people’s mailboxes, as well as approximately 330,000 payments that were disbursed via direct deposit to people’s bank accounts. Checks can take up to three weeks to arrive once mailed, while direct deposits typically show up within a few business days. People can also check California’s Wait Times dashboard, which has more details on refund processing time frames. You can find the link to the California Wait Times Dashboard in the description.
According to the tax board’s website, payments by direct deposit are expected to continue through at least October, while paper checks will continue to periodically be mailed through the beginning of next year. Delays can be expected, depending on when someone turned in their 2020 tax return, and the date it was processed. So far, more than 3.3 million Golden State Stimulus II payments valuing over $2.3 billion have been distributed to Californians who reported earnings of up to $75,000 on their 2020 tax return. However, individuals who haven’t yet filed a 2020 tax return have until next Friday, October 15th to file a late return, and be considered for the latest stimulus payment. Additionally, Californians who apply for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number by October 15th will have four extra months to file their state income taxes and possibly qualify for the Golden State Stimulus.
A total of $12 billion in direct relief is expected be sent out under the state’s expanded program, which will benefit an estimated two-thirds of California’s population. The stimulus funds have been touted by officials as the largest state tax rebate ever in the U.S. Under Golden State Stimulus II, California is sending out payments of up to $600 to qualifying individuals and an additional $500 for eligible dependents, giving taxpayers a total of up to $1,100 in relief. Some people who received the first Golden State Stimulus check earlier this year may also qualify for another payment of $500, if they recently reported a newly qualified dependent on their return. Social Security recipients who have other forms of income could be eligible for the money as well, provided they made $75,000 or less in taxable income, not to include their Social Security payments. Now if you’re unsure about your eligibility, your best bet is to go directly to the California Franchise Tax Board website to determine whether or not you qualify, and to estimate what amount you’re eligible to receive.
Meanwhile, the Senior’s Citizen’s League continues pushing for $1400 stimulus checks for all Social Security beneficiaries, with a petition nearing almost 3 million in signatures. Surveys carried out by this group suggest roughly 86% of Social Security recipients have had their expenses increased by much more than the 1.3% increase in benefits allotted to them in 2021, which amounts to a measly $20 per month on average. Furthermore, the group plans to use responses from this petition as leverage to help urge Congress to send out additional payments. The payments will be seen as a way to supplement money lost during the pandemic due in large part to inflation. For many, Social Security benefits checks decreased in value, whereas inflation continued surging to new year-high peaks.