Mass. Sending $500 Relief Checks to Low-Income Workers Starting Monday

To be eligible, a person must have a household income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level and not have received unemployment compensation in 2021 or a payment in the first round

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Over 300,000 low-income essential workers across Massachusetts will begin receiving their second round of stimulus checks this week.

The $500 payments were scheduled to be mailed out starting Monday as part of the Baker administration's COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium program.

The first set of these payments were announced in February and distributed to around 480,000 people in March. This round offers another $165 million in relief funding to an estimated 330,000 eligible residents in June.

Who is eligible for the Massachusetts essential workers bonus

Eligibility is based on 2021 Massachusetts tax returns. To qualify, workers had to have made at least $13,500 and seen their total income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.

For a household of one person, that level is $38,640; for a family of four that would be up to $79,500.

Who is not eligible for the second round of stimulus checks?

Those who received a payment in the first round or who received unemployment benefits in 2021 are not eligible. Massachusetts executive branch employees who received a one-time COVID-related payment from the state are also ineligible.

The first round of payments was determined by 2020 state tax returns and followed similar criteria.

Click here to learn more about the program.

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