More $500 Relief Payments Headed to Mass. Low-Income Workers

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


The Baker administration is distributing a second round of $500 checks to another 330,000 low-income essential workers across Massachusetts.

The first set of these payments, part of the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program, were announced in February and distributed to around 480,000 people in March. The next round will offer another $165 million in relief funding to an estimated 330,000 eligible residents in June.



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Eligibility will be 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.

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

Massachusetts announced a plan to provide $500 for 500,000 low-income workers.

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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