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Surprise $850 stimulus checks are coming in one state – here’s when

A man is shown opening a wallet full of cash.

Getting a new stimulus check this year is really the luck of the draw for many people around the US. The free money these days flows to citizens at the state and local levels depending on where they live.

That’s a big contrast, of course, from what we saw over the last two years of the pandemic. When the federal government, remember, sent out stimulus checks far and wide across the US, amounting to billions of dollars for tens of millions of Americans. Getting some of that free money these days means living in a state like Maine, where Democratic Gov. Janet Mills just signed a $1.2 billion supplemental budget that will, among other things, fund a wave of $850 stimulus checks.

Free money for Maine residents

On Friday, April 22, the Mills administration set up a website, Maine.gov/reliefchecks, where people can go to get answers about the payments (which will go out in June).

Fast facts:

  • The $850 is free money for around 858,000 Maine residents.
  • Eligibility depends on filing a 2021 Maine individual income tax return by October 31, 2022, as a full-time Maine resident.
  • Those eligible must have a federal adjusted gross income of less than: $100,000 if filing single or if married and filing separately; $150,000 if filing as head of household; or $200,000 for couples filing jointly.

“Maine people are grappling with the increased costs as a result of pandemic-driven inflation, ranging from higher energy costs to increased prices of everyday goods,” that special website reads. “While the Governor cannot control the impact of COVID-19 on global markets, she can make sure that we deliver to Maine people the resources they need to deal with these higher costs.

“To help, Governor Mills proposed giving back more than half the budget surplus to the taxpayers of Maine, in the form of $850 direct checks.”

Stimulus check update

Other states and localities, as noted, are trying their own versions of this same thing. In some places, like Los Angeles, the free money takes the form of a basic income experiment. That LA program is giving participants $1,000 a month for three years. And participants can spend the money however they like.

stimulus check with IRS form
A stimulus check, pen, and IRS form sit on a computer keyboard. Image source: Rick/Adobe

Meanwhile, many Americans should have also gotten another stimulus benefit of sorts in recent days.

The federal tax filing deadline was just a few days ago. If you were among the millions of Americans who got any of the child tax credit checks last year? You would have been able to claim an equivalent amount as a tax credit this year, lowering your overall tax obligation.

Unfortunately, it looks like that will be the extent of the federal government handing out any more stimulus for now. That’s why states like Maine and others have been looking for ways to offer free money to their own residents where it makes sense to do so.

Andy Meek profile photo

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who has been contributing to BGR since 2015. His expertise in TV shows you probably don’t like is unmatched. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl.