Stimulus Checks Are Back — but Only in Certain States

Stimulus Checks Are Back -- but Only in Certain States

(Dan Caplinger)

The COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t just a deadly health threat, it also created economic disruptions across the globe. People are still dealing with the pandemic’s consequences, both in the business world and in handling their personal finances. For a time, the stimulus checks that the US federal government paid out served as a lifeline for millions of Americans to get by.

Further stimulus checks at the federal level appear increasingly unlikely, even with inflation causing plenty of financial pain. However, many states are joining in by making special payments of their own. Below, you’ll learn more about where some of these stimulus checks are helping residents and whether you qualify.

Helping children

Several states offered assistance targeted at families with children. That added to the relief at the federal level that extended the eligibility for the Child Tax Credit beyond its normal rules during 2020 and 2021. Examples include:

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  • Some Connecticut residents were eligible to receive $250 per child for up to three children, although the application period has since ended and checks already have been paid out.
  • Florida made payments of $450 per child to more than 59,000 families, including those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families funding.
  • Rhode Island matched its neighboring-state’s $250 per-child credit on up to three children, and payments started to go out at the beginning of October.

Image source: Getty Images.

Looking at homeowners and renters

A handful of states focused their help on homeowner and renter costs. In New Jersey, homeowners were eligible to receive $1,000 to $1,500, based on income limits. Renters who demonstrated eligibility could receive $450 under the program.

In New York, homeowners could claim relief from school taxes in amounts that varied, depending on location and income. Payments ranged to as much as $1,050. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania offered a similar program to New Jersey’s, with low-income homeowners and renters getting $650 to $975.

Broader support

More than a dozen additional states have called for state stimulus payments of some form for taxpayers. They include some of the most populous states in the nation, and some of the amounts are fairly large.

In California, for instance, the Middle Class Tax Rebate was designed to offset rising inflation and its impact on taxpayers. Depending on income levels, single filers were eligible to receive between $200 and $350, while joint filers could receive double those amounts. In addition, those with dependents could tack on an additional $200 to $350, making the totals anywhere from $200 to $1,050.

Meanwhile, Colorado taxpayers got a one-time tax rebate over the summer, with eligibility extending to those who filed 2021 state returns by mid-October 2022. The amounts were $750 for individual filers and $1,500 for joint filers, with no provisions for additional amounts for families with dependents. Maine made similar provisions for its taxpayers, with slightly higher amounts of $850 for singles and $1,700 for joint filers.

Lastly, in Massachusetts, taxpayers received a percentage of their tax liability back due to overfunding of the state government. The final amount ended up being 14% of what taxpayers owed on their 2021 returns, with refunds starting to get paid to residents beginning in November.

Smaller amounts were available in a number of other states, including Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, and Virginia.

Check with your local government officials

With some of these programs, payments will be automatic, and residents don’t have to do anything. But in other cases, an application is required in order to receive state stimulus payments. Moreover, deadlines have already passed in some instances. It could pay to speak with your own government officials to ensure you get any money that’s coming to you.

Federal stimulus payments were a big help early in the pandemic, and state-sponsored stimulus payments could also be helpful this time around. As the economy continues to weaken, it’s possible that more states could make it onto the list of those offering financial assistance to their residents.

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