One state has started issuing stimulus checks – The state government is pressing forward on a new wave of direct stimulus payments to help citizens deal with rising food, fuel, and consumer goods costs.
Millions of Massachusetts’ lowest earners should anticipate a $500 check in the mail in the coming weeks.
This isn’t the first time the state has used funds from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to fund direct payments. The Executive Office for Administration and Finance announced the second round of premium payments to low-wage workers in a news release in May.
Hundreds of thousands more households will be eligible for the newest round of payments, which are anticipated to arrive in mailboxes by the end of the month.
“The Baker-Polito Administration today announced its plan for a second round of $500 payments to low-income workers under the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay programme,” according to the May 19 statement.
“The COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay programme was passed by the Massachusetts Legislature and signed by Governor Baker in December 2021 as part of a $4 billion spending plan for American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds,” the statement reads.
“In June, roughly $165 million will be distributed to an estimated 330,000 eligible persons.”
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“The critical personnel who kept the Commonwealth operating throughout the pandemic deserve nothing less,” Mariano added.
Who is eligible to participate?
The eligibility for the most recent round of payments is similar to that of the previous round. This time, however, the criteria have been revised to reflect changes in the federal poverty level computation.
Any Massachusetts person who filed a tax return in the year 2021 and earned at least $13,5000 but had a total income of less than 300 percent of the federal poverty threshold will be eligible for the payment.
That means someone working 20 hours a week for 50 weeks of the year will earn the $13.50 minimum wage in 2021.
The federal poverty line is $38,640 for one taxpayer. That works out to $54,360 for a two-person family.
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$65,880 for three, $79,500 for four, $93,120 for five, and $106,750 for six.
Recipients must have lived in Massachusetts for at least part of the year between January 1, 2021, and June 15, 2021.
Anyone who got a payment in the first round of stimulus payments for low-income workers, as well as anyone who received unemployment benefits in 2021, will be ineligible for this second round.
In the coming weeks, millions of Massachusetts’ low-income residents should get a $500 payment in the mail.
The state has used cash from President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act to support direct payments before. In a news release issued in May, the Executive Office for Administration and Finance announced the second round of premium payments to low-wage workers. We are still on the reports to see what happens the next.