California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a $7.6 billion coronavirus relief package into law on February 23 that includes $600 one-time payments to 5.7 million eligible residents, as well as more than $2 billion in grants for small businesses that still need a financial ledge.
Newsom approved of the package as Congress was still negotiating President Joe Biden’s relief bill, which was approved last month and as the first-term governor found himself under seething pressure from lawmakers who are pushing a recall effort, largely due to his handling of the coronavirus and the impact the pandemic had on small businesses.
“The backbone of our economy is small business. We recognize the stress, the strain that so many small business have been under,” Newsom said in February. “And we recognize as well our responsibility to do more and to do better to help support these small businesses through this very difficult and trying time.”
While some Californians have already received the $600 direct payments, as the state started sending them out on April 15, other residents may have to wait up to six weeks or longer.
The people eligible for the stimulus check are residents receiving California’s earned income tax credit for 2020, households with individual tax identification numbers and an income below $75,000, households in the CalWORKs program—a program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families with children—recipients of Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) and recipients of aid through the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants.
Residents with individual taxpayer identification numbers are people who don’t have Social Security numbers, including immigrants who did not qualify for federal aid from previous rescue packages.
But not all California residents will see the direct relief immediately, as the timing of the payments’ arrival depends on when the resident filed a tax return. These types of filers with an income below $30,000 are also eligible to obtain California’s earned income tax credit and receive an additional $600 payment.
If a resident filed taxes online between January 1, 2021, and March 1, 2021, then he or she will receive a stimulus payment after April 15, 2021, according to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB). And if a resident is getting a paper check in the mail, allow four to six weeks for mailing and processing.
For residents who filed tax returns on or after March 2, 2021, a direct deposit will hit their bank accounts within forty-five days, while paper checks could take up to sixty days, the FTB said.
Residents in the CalWORKs program, however, automatically received the $600 stimulus payments, the California Department of Finance reported.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter at the National Interest. Her work has appeared in The Washington Post, U.S. News & World Report and The Hill.