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