California Stimulus Checks Are Coming. How Much Money Will You Get?

by Dana George | Published on Aug. 27, 2021

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Are you due any of the $12 billion in stimulus funds from the state of California?

Over the next few weeks, an estimated 9 million Californians are slated to receive a Golden State Stimulus check, the second such payment deposited into bank accounts across the state.

Part of a $12 billion state rebate program, the effort aims to provide direct help to Californians suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to ABC 10.

Here's who can expect payment (and how much they can expect)

To qualify for payment, an individual must have been a California resident for most of 2020 and still live in the state. They must also have either a Social Security number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and cannot be claimed on anyone else's tax return. It's a complicated landscape, but here's a rundown of who qualifies and how much they can expect to receive, per the state's Franchise Tax Board:

Californians with a Social Security number

  • Qualified for Golden State Stimulus (GSS) I and claimed at least one dependent: $500
  • Did not qualify for GSS I and did not claim a credit for dependents: $600
  • Did not qualify for GSS I and claimed a credit for (at least) one dependent: $1,100
  • Qualified for GSS I but did not claim a dependent credit: $0

Californians with ITIN

  • Qualified for GSS I and claimed at least one dependent: $500
  • Qualified for GSS I but did not claim a dependent: $0

An ITIN filer typically pays U.S. taxes but is not eligible to receive a Social Security number. This includes immigrant residents of the state. Despite comments by Sen. Ted Cruz and false claims on social media, unauthorized immigrants were not eligible to receive federal stimulus funds.

Married, filing separately

  • Qualified for GSS I and claimed at least one dependent: $250
  • Did not qualify for GSS I and did not claim a dependent: $300
  • Did not qualify for GSS I and claimed at least one dependent: $550
  • Qualified for GSS I but did not claim a dependent: $0

Stimulus payment is based on individual tax returns, meaning two people living in the same household could both be issued a check.

When most direct deposits are expected

According to the California Franchise Tax Board, most direct deposit payments will hit banks between Sept. 1, 2021, and Oct. 15, 2021. Taxpayers who filed their 2020 taxes after Aug. 20 may have to wait up to 45 days for their returns to process and checks to be sent.

For those not receiving direct deposit, checks will be sent out based on the last three digits of the ZIP code used on 2020 taxes (the Franchise Tax Board's ZIP code-based payment schedule is here). Anyone who files their 2020 tax return after the date of their scheduled payment should allow up to 60 days for a check to arrive.

Explaining the extra stimulus funds, Gov. Newsom said to ABC 10, "The Golden State Stimulus is key to lifting up those hit hardest by the pandemic and supporting California's economic recovery, putting money directly in the hands of folks who will spend it on basic needs and within their local communities."

For many of those who have received little or no aid during the pandemic, these stimulus funds could not come at a better time. Whether they spend the money on essentials right away or put it in a savings account to help them get through the remainder of the crisis, these funds represent a bit of financial security.

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