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Stimulus check update: New $500 payments are coming to people in this state

Published Apr 12th, 2022 2:43PM EDT
A man is shown opening a wallet full of cash.
Image: Nana_studio/Adobe

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Stimulus check payments continue sporadically rolling out around the US ever since the federal government sent out its last such payment back in December.

They’re taking the form of everything from basic income checks to gas rebate payments to garden-variety stimulus checks. With the latter including a $500 stimulus that’s been going out in recent days as part of the Massachusetts Essential Employee Premium Pay program. The state legislature set aside $460 million for these payments, with $500 payments already going out to 500,000 people in the first round.

Below, we’ll get into some of the key details about this round of stimulus payments in the state. We’ll also take a look at some important things to know about another related program in Los Angeles. One for which there’s a big deadline coming on Wednesday.

$500 payment for Massachusetts workers

Among the eligibility requirements for a Round 1 Premium Pay stimulus check in Massachusetts:

  • The recipient must have filed a 2020 tax return;
  • Been a Massachusetts resident in 2020, or a part-year resident that lived in Massachusetts between March 10, 2020, and December 31, 2020;
  • Earned employment income of at least $12,750 in 2020 employment compensation;
  • And had a total household income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level in 2020.

“The first round of payments will be made based off 2020 returns,” a state website about the program explains. “Following tax filing season, the next round of payments will be made using information from 2021 returns. After that, the program will be evaluated for any additional rounds.”

Another important note: Each spouse in a household must be eligible to get a check. In other words, according to the state, it’s possible that neither spouse, only one spouse, or both spouses can be eligible for a payment.

Stimulus check update

pile of cash
A pile of money is shown. Image source: bartsadowski/Adobe

Other examples of such payments include the guaranteed income “Breathe” program in Los Angeles. It will give participants a stimulus check every month for three years. An important note: Potential participants have to apply by Wednesday, April 13.

Guaranteed income programs like LA’s are distinct from stimulus checks, in that they more or less provide versions of the latter over an extended timeframe. In terms of what Los Angeles is getting ready to undertake, families that participate will get up to $1,000/month. Specifically, for a period of time spanning three years. And with no strings attached as far as how they can spend the money. 

You can click the link right here to apply for the program.

“Los Angeles County is launching the pilot program Breathe to provide its residents the chance to ‘breathe’ easier knowing they are more financially secure,” the program’s website notes. “Breathe is a guaranteed income pilot project that will provide 1,000 eligible residents with $1,000 per month for three years.”

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.