Now if you first recall, the original Golden State stimulus amounts were $600 for individuals and $500 for dependents. And was available for residents who lived in California for more than half of 2020 and who earned less than $75,000 that year. A final round of payments was issued by mail from December 27th to January 11th for those whose last 3 digits of their zip code was either 928 or 999. Up to 100,000 more Californians were expected to get the stimulus checks before the end of February. According to the state’s public affairs office, California has issued more than 8.2 million stimulus payments worth more than $5.9 billion.
Now the great news is, Californians could be getting yet another round of stimulus checks, as part of a budget proposal in the state. Governor Gavin Newsom has stated that California has a surplus of more than $45.7 billion, which is significantly higher than the $31 billion that the state projected in late 2021. Under the proposal, Newsom aims to provide funding for several areas including climate change, homelessness, cost of living, healthcare, and education. Along with these items, Newsom indicated the possibility of another round of stimulus checks coming, although tax rebates were not included in his original proposal. On Wednesday, Newsom stated “We expect, in the May revise language when I update the budget, that we are likely to have an additional rebate to the taxpayers”.
In addition to the possibility of brand new California stimulus checks, individuals may also qualify for what’s known as IRS plus-up payments. Plus-up payments are extra stimulus checks provided to persons who received a stimulus payout based on their 2019 tax return or information in the Social Security Administration’s system. When the COVID-19 outbreak began in March 2020, stimulus checks were distributed based on the most recent tax return on file for each tax-paying resident of the United States. The second batch of stimulus checks was sent in March 2021, at a period when many people had yet to complete their 2020 tax returns, therefore their payout was based on their 2019 return. As a result of the pandemic, a lot of Americans had their income fall between 2019 and 2020. Therefore, if you earned less than you did in 2020, you may in fact be eligible for larger plus-up payments at the end of this tax year.
The concept of recurring payments has been taken seriously by several legislators. In fact, twenty-one Democratic senators wrote a letter to President Joe Biden on March 30th in support of regular stimulus payments. At the time, they argued that the $1,400 installments set to be distributed by the IRS wouldn’t last long. They even go as far as saying: “Almost 6 in 10 people say the $1,400 payments set to be included in the rescue package will last them less than three months”. Moreover, the senators’ letter does not indicate the size of the periodic payments they are requesting. Democratic legislators originally proposed, in a separate effort, $2,000 monthly payments in January 2021 until the pandemic ends. The American Rescue Plan, on the other hand, permitted one-time payments of up to $1,400 per qualifying adult and dependent.
As it turns out, California stands out as having the only meaningful kind of stimulus checks left. The reason for this is because California is the state with the most extensive state-sponsored relief program, with two-thirds of citizens slated to get a $600 stimulus payment. Around 4.5 million of the more than 9 million people who were eligible have received their checks as of October 31st.And from late August to January 11th, the bulk of the remaining checks were mailed. Others states, such as Alaska, have annual state-run dividend packages that are distributed to people, but have been there for more than 50 years and have nothing to do with the Covid-19 pandemic. Many states have also continued to extend Pandemic EBT (or P-EBT for short) in 2022, which provides food benefits to help families with young children under the age of 6, who received CalFresh Food benefits between October 2020 and August 2021. The easiest thing to do is to check your local SNAP office, or state SNAP benefits website, to determine whether or not you can continue taking advantage of the Pandemic EBT program.