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Massachusetts Coronavirus Stimulus Checks: Low-income Workers To Get $500

By Aman Jain. Originally published at ValueWalk.

Massachusetts coronavirus stimulus checks

In the absence of federal stimulus checks, some states are continuing to send targeted stimulus checks. The latest to do so is Massachusetts. Massachusetts is sending $500 coronavirus stimulus checks to low-income workers. State officials will determine eligibility for the payments using workers’ 2020 tax returns.

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Details On The Massachusetts Coronavirus Stimulus Checks

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker approved the coronavirus stimulus checks as part of the state’s $4 billion COVID-19 relief bill, which was signed in December. Last week, the state’s Executive Office of Administration and Finance said the payments will start to go out at the end of March.

“This program will support those workers who served our communities, especially early in the pandemic,” Baker said in a statement.

About 500,000 workers who fell below the state’s poverty line in 2020 will be eligible for the coronavirus stimulus checks under the Massachusetts’ COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program. The program will use the funds the state received through the American Rescue Plan Act.

The Massachusetts Office of Administration and Finance has set up a website to help people find out whether or not they will be eligible for the payment. To get more information on the program, visit: www.mass.gov/premiumpay.

Who Will Get The Checks?

The eligibility requirements will only be limited to income thresholds. Residents whose income in 2020 was at least $12,750 but put them 300% below the poverty line will be eligible for the payments. Moreover, a single filer’s income must not be more than $38,280, while for a family of four, the total income shouldn’t exceed $78,600.

“The lower bound of this range equates to working 20 hours a week for 50 weeks at minimum wage as of 2020 ($12.75),” the press release says.

Workers who received unemployment compensation in 2020 won’t be eligible for the first round of payments. The state is expected to announce a second round of checks at a later date. Officials will mail the stimulus checks to eligible recipients automatically.

“This first round of payments to low-income workers will provide meaningful support for individuals who continued to work despite the global pandemic,” Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said on Tuesday.

Baker has set funds aside for housing and healthcare in addition to sending stimulus checks to workers. For instance, the bill Baker signed in December allocates $150 million to fund housing for various populations, including seniors and veterans. The plan also allocates $400 million for addiction treatment and related behavioral health services, workforce, and infrastructure, and $260 million for fiscally stressed hospitals in disproportionately impacted municipalities.

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