Stimulus checks are back — but only in certain states

(Dan Caplinger)

In addition to being a deadly health threat, the COVID-19 pandemic has also caused economic disruption around the world. People are still grappling with the fallout from the pandemic, both in the business world and in managing their personal finances. For a time, the stimulus checks paid out by the US federal government served as a lifeline for millions of Americans to make ends meet.

Further federal stimulus checks look increasingly unlikely, even as inflation causes plenty of financial pain. However, many states are getting involved with their own special payments. Below you can read more about where some of these stimulus checks are helping residents and whether they qualify.

help children

Several federal states offered targeted help for families with children. This contributed to the federal relief that expanded eligibility for the child allowance beyond normal rules in 2020 and 2021. Examples for this are:

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  • Some Connecticut residents were eligible for $250 per child for up to three children, although the application deadline has now passed and checks have already been paid.
  • Florida made payments of $450 per child to more than 59,000 families, including those receiving funds for temporary support for families in need.
  • Rhode Island matched its neighboring state’s $250 per child credit for up to three children, and payments began in early October.

Image source: Getty Images.

Look at homeowners and renters

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

In New York, homeowners could get different amounts of school tax relief based on where they lived and their income. Payments ranged up to $1,050. Meanwhile, Pennsylvania offered a similar program to that in New Jersey, giving low-income homeowners and renters $650 to $975.

Broader support

More than a dozen other states have requested some form of government stimulus payments taxpayer. They encompass some of the nation’s most populous states, and some of the amounts are quite high.

In California, for example, the middle-class tax rebate was designed to offset rising inflation and its impact on taxpayers. Depending on income level, individual applicants could receive anywhere from $200 to $350, while joint applicants could receive double those amounts. In addition, people with dependents could raise another $200-$350, bringing the total to between $200-$1,050.

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

Eventually, Massachusetts taxpayers got back a percentage of their tax liability due to overfunding by the state government. The final amount was 14% of what taxpayers owed on their 2021 tax returns, with refunds being paid out to residents starting in November.

Smaller quantities 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 are automatic and residents don’t have to do anything. In other cases, however, an application is required to receive government stimulus payments. In some cases, deadlines have already expired. It might be worth speaking to your own government officials to make sure you’re getting the money that’s coming to you.

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

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