Here’s Who Qualifies for Massachusetts’ New $500 Stimulus Check

Here’s Who Qualifies for Massachusetts’ New $500 Stimulus Check

Massachusetts residents and families who qualify will receive a $500 check, but some individuals might have earned too much to qualify.

Over the course of the nearly two-year-long coronavirus pandemic, the acute financial struggles being endured by ordinary Americans have been well documented.

Washington lawmakers previously approved three much-needed stimulus checks to most Americans. However, as roughly ten months have passed since the last government-issued funds were issued, many still cash-strapped Americans are now contending that the three stimulus payments were far from enough.

Both the White House and Congress appear to be focused on other issues these days, such as passing some form of the contentious Build Back Better legislation. The prospect of more stimulus checks does not look great at the moment. However, that does not mean a fourth stimulus check is entirely dead. Some government-issued payments can be found on the state and local levels.

Massachusetts Steps Up

One example is the commonwealth of Massachusetts, where about half a million low-income workers are in line to receive a $500 payment as part of the ambitious $4 billion COVID-19 relief bill signed by Gov. Charlie Baker in December.

“Your income must be at least $12,750 to qualify and must not be above $38,280 for a single filer,” according to WWLP in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“A family of four would get a $500 check if their total income doesn’t exceed $78,600,” it continues.

Those who received unemployment benefits in 2020, however, will not be eligible for the extra cash.

According to Newsweek, one Massachusetts official told NBC Boston earlier this week that the eligibility requirements were limited to specific income thresholds “because it was a faster, simpler and more inclusive way of getting the payments out the door.”

“This first round of payments to low-income workers will provide meaningful support for individuals who continued to work despite the global pandemic,” Lieutenant Gov. Karyn Polito said in a statement. “We are pleased that our administration has been able to quickly design this program to get funds out the door to those workers who the program is intended to support.”

Helping Those Who Serve Communities

Baker also said that the payments to state residents will help support many of those working minimum wage jobs to serve their communities amid the ongoing pandemic.

“I was pleased to sign the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program into law in December, and our administration has worked quickly to design the parameters for the program with plans to efficiently begin distribution of these payments by the end of March,” he said in a statement. “This program will support those workers who served our communities, especially early in the pandemic.”

Ethen Kim Lieser is a Washington state-based Science and Tech Editor who has held posts at Google, The Korea Herald, Lincoln Journal Star, AsianWeek, and Arirang TV. Follow or contact him on LinkedIn.

Image: Reuters.