Am I Eligible to Receive the California Stimulus Check?

The California State Government announced that it will offer an economic stimulus check to low-and middle-income residents of the state. With the approval of this initiative, checks of $600 will be issued to all eligible taxpayers, regardless of their legal status. In addition, taxpayers who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) and qualify for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) will receive stimulus checks totaling $1,200. The payments started to roll out in April and will continue to be issued depending on when you filed your 2020 tax return. Read on to learn more about the program and find out if you're eligible!

What is the California Stimulus Check?

Also known as the Golden State Stimulus, this government stimulus check gives a one-time payment of $600 or $1,200 to qualifying individuals. Households whose income is less than $75,000 are eligible. The statewide program announced by California Governor Gavin Newson is a financial aid for immigrants and California residents that complements federal government aid. Between the California Stimulus Check and other forms of financial assistance, this program will allocate $9.6 billion to help the state's economy recover. The program was approved in February of this year, and the payments will be made a few weeks after eligible taxpayers’ tax filings are processed starting April 15. 

This financial assistance will impact nearly 5.7 million people

If you are an immigrant without legal status and you pay your taxes, you may be eligible for this program! Keep in mind that you must have previously filed taxes in the state in order to receive a California stimulus check. Below, you will find some of the most relevant eligibility criteria that is being considered:

  • California residents who earned less than $30,000 in 2020 are eligible to receive the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Those who file taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) could receive a total of $1,200 between the credit and the new stimulus.
  • Tax contributors who have not received stimulus payments from the federal government are eligible for the California Stimulus Check if their annual income is below $75,000.
  • In addition, $600 checks are meant to be distributed to households that are registered with the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids Program (CalWORKS) and those who receive supplemental payments from the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI).

It is estimated that about 5.7 million payments will be distributed to people in California through this program.

Other financial assistance programs for food, housing, and other monthly bills

In addition to the California Stimulus Check, the state is proposing additional programs as part of the economic stimulus package. Other aid programs that the state provides are listed below:

  • Approximately $2.1 billion will be awarded to small businesses. This will represent an expansion of a program started in December that to date has helped 21,000 small businesses with a budget of $500 million.
  • Financial aid to the order of $100 million is proposed for low-income students taking six or more subjects at California's community colleges.
  • About $24 million will be devoted to provide financial assistance to farm workers who have been quarantined due to COVID-19, through the Housing for Agricultural workers program.
  • $35 million will be devoted to food banks and diapers.
  • Students from the University of California, California State University, and California community colleges who are eligible for CalFresh, the food stamp program, will receive $6 million in total.

How to get the $600 California Stimulus Check

This program extends the support offered last year by the Golden State, which helped people without legal status to receive financial aid after being excluded from the program provided by the federal government.

The best part is that this program will be automatically applied to eligible taxpayers and all you have to do is file your 2020 tax return before October 15, 2021.

In the meantime, you may want to explore the benefits of PODERcard —the Visa® bank account and debit card we have launched specifically for our community. If you receive financial incentives from the government, you can receive them directly in your PODERcard. We recommend you open an account today!