California Stimulus Checks 2022: Are You Eligible?

What’s happening

California has announced a one-time “middle-class tax refund” that will provide 23 million taxpayers with between $200 and $1,050.

Why it matters

California’s economy is the largest in the US. The inflation relief payments are a compromise between Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers.

California is sending one-time inflation-relief checks to residents in the fall to help blunt the sting of inflation. The Middle Class Tax Refund, a compromise between Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers in Sacramento, will see eligible families receiving a one-time payment of as much as $1,050, depending on their income, tax-filing status and household size.  

Here’s what you need to know about California’s inflation relief checks, including which residents are eligible for the money, how much they’ll get and when they can expect to receive it. 

For more on anti-inflation measures, see which states are issuing tax rebates and which are pausing their state gas tax.

Who is eligible for the California tax rebate check?

The refund plan has been set up in three tiers, based on the adjusted gross income on your 2020 California state tax return.

  • Single taxpayers who earned less than $75,000 and couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will receive $350 per taxpayer and another flat $350 if they have any dependents. A married couple with children, therefore, could receive as much as $1,050. This is the largest bracket, KCRA reported, representing about 82% of beneficiaries.
  • Individual filers who made between $75,000 and $125,000 — and couples who earned between $150,000 and $250,000 — will receive $250 per taxpayer, plus another $250 if they have any dependents. A family with any children could receive $750.
  • Individual filers who earned between $125,000 and $250,000 and couples who earned between $250,000 and $500,000 would receive $200 each. A family with children in this bracket could receive a maximum of $600.

Although single taxpayers who earned more than $250,000 and couples who made more than a combined $500,000 in 2020 aren’t eligible, the Middle Class Tax Refund is expected to benefit 23 million Californians in all.

You can estimate your payment on the Franchise Tax Board website.

What are the requirements to qualify for the tax rebate?

In addition to meeting income requirements, residents must have filed their 2020 tax refund by Oct. 15, 2021, have lived in the state for at least half of the 2020 tax year and still be a California resident on the date the payment is issued. They also cannot have been claimed as dependents in the 2020 tax year. 

state of California made of money

Rebates will start going out as direct deposits and debit cards in October.


iQoncept/Getty Images

When will the California payments start?

The payments will start going out in October and finish in the middle of January 2023, according to estimates from the Franchise Tax Board. The money is coming out of California’s $97 billion budget surplus.

How will California send the payments?

If you filed your 2020 California state tax return electronically and requested a direct deposit for your refund, you will receive the tax rebate as a direct deposit, as well. 

Otherwise, you should receive your payment on a debit card. 

What if I didn’t file a 2020 California tax return?

Most Californians who didn’t file a complete 2020 tax return by Oct. 15, 2021, aren’t eligible for the rebate. (The exception is for those who applied for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, and had not received it by Oct 15, 2021.)

In addition to the tax rebate, the state is increasing funding for several social programs, including the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment, which assists more than 1 million seniors and disabled people. SSI/SSP benefits will increase by about $39 per month for individuals and by $100 per month for couples.

There are also increases to California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKS) grants, which provide money and services to eligible families with children. Grant recipients could see their benefits increase as much as $194 a month, KCRA reported

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