California stimulus checks start going out: How to check if you qualify and for what amount

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A stimulus check and cash are seen in a file photo. (iStock/Getty Image Plus)

California residents who qualify for the state’s second round of stimulus checks may see their payment arrive as early as Friday, according to officials.

Under the expansion of Golden State Stimulus payments (known as GSS II), eligible Californians could receive as much as $1,100 from the state. It’s anticipated that two out of three residents will benefit from the program, which is meant to help Californians impacted financially by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The state will disburse a total of $12 billion in tax rebates, according to a news release from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. The money is coming from the state’s $100-billion budget plan and is being paid for in part by federal coronavirus recovery funds.

To qualify, you must have been a California resident for most of last year and still live in the state, filed a 2020 tax return, earned less than $75,000 (adjusted gross income and wages) during the 2020 tax year, have a Social Security Number (SSN) or an or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and can’t be claimed by any other taxpayer as a dependent.

Residents who haven’t yet filed a 2020 tax return have until Oct 15, 2021, to be considered for the latest stimulus payment.

Additionally, some people who received the first Golden State Stimulus (GSS I) payment earlier this year may also qualify for an additional payment.

The state’s Franchise Tax Board released the following breakdowns of how much, if anything, residents with either a Social Security Number or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number could receive under various scenarios if they meet all eligibility requirements for GSS II.

Individuals with an SSN

  • Qualified for GSS I and claimed a credit for at least one dependent: $500
  • Didn’t qualify for GSS I and did not claim a credit for any dependents: $600
  • Didn’t qualify for GSS I and claimed a credit for at least one dependent: $1,100
  • Qualified for GSS I and didn’t claim a credit for any dependents: $0

Married (filing separately)

  • Qualified for GSS I and claimed a credit for at least one dependent: $250
  • Didn’t qualify for GSS I and did not claim a credit for any dependents: $300
  • Didn’t qualify for GSS I and claimed a credit for at least one dependent: $550
  • Qualified for GSS I and didn’t claim a credit for any dependents: $0

(Note: since the stimulus payment is based on each tax return, two people in the same household could both get a check provided they each qualify, according to the tax board.)

Individuals with an ITIN

  • Qualified for GSS I and claimed a credit for at least one dependent: $500
  • Qualified for GSS I and didn’t claim a credit for any dependents: $0

What else to know

Social Security recipients in California may also qualify for the GSS II payment, so long as that’s not the person’s only form of income and they have an adjusted gross income of $75,000 or less (with income from Social Security not included in the AGI).

The state notes that on top of Social Security, it does not factor the following into AGI: CalWorks and CalFresh benefits; Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/State Supplementary Payment (SSP) and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI); State Disability Insurance (SDI) and VA disability benefits; and unemployment income.

Still unsure whether you qualify and how much you could receive? California has created an online tool to help residents determine those answers.

The tool prompts users to provide information on a number of questions, including your tax filing status, reported adjusted gross income for 2020 and whether you have any dependents. It then projects whether you’re eligible and, if yes, provided an estimated amount.

More information about Golden Stimulus II payments can be found here.

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