About 23 million California residents are likely to receive an “inflation relief” check within days, part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s plan to offer financial assistance to many working families walloped by high gasoline prices.
The checks are part of a $17 billion relief package that also suspended the state’s sales tax on diesel fuel and provided additional aid to help people with rent and utility bills, the governor said earlier this year.
California isn’t alone in developing stimulus checks and rebates for residents to help them cope with inflation, with at least 20 other states also offering financial aid to their citizens. Yet while gas prices have declined from their record high in June, drivers in California still pay the highest amount for a gallon of gas, on average, according to data from AAA. The average gas price is $6.33 per gallon in California, compared with $3.92 nationally.
“We’re told about 90% of residents in the state are currently eligible for these rebates,” CBS News correspondent Jonathan Vigliotti said.
Here’s what to know about the timing of the checks and how much California residents can expect.
Checks started arriving on October 7
Funds began arriving on Friday, Vigliotti noted, with people receiving either a debit card in the mail or a direct deposit to their bank account.
But it could take a few days or weeks for the money to arrive. Still, about 90% of people who receive direct deposits will get their payments by the end of October, according to the California Franchise Tax Board.
On social media, some people said they had received their checks via direct deposit on Friday, while others said they were still waiting.
Will I get a direct deposit?
People who included their bank account information in their 2020 tax returns will receive direct deposits.
Who will get a debit card in the mail?
Taxpayers who included their addresses but no bank account data will receive a debit card. Others who will receive a debt card include:
- People who filed paper tax returns.
- Those who owed taxes from their 2020 returns.
- Taxpayers who received a direct deposit for their 2020 refunds but who have since changed their bank accounts or switched banks.
- People who received an advance payment from their tax service provider, or who paid their tax preparer fees using their tax refund.
How much will I get?
The payments are based on income and family size.
Single taxpayers who earn less than $75,000 a year and couples who file jointly and make less than $150,000 a year will receive $350 per taxpayer.
Taxpayers with dependents will receive an extra $350, regardless of the total number of dependents.
In other words, a couple that earns a combined $125,000 and has two children would qualify for $350 per adult plus $350 for their children, for a total of $1,050.
What about higher-income Californians?
Higher-income residents will receive smaller payments.
Single taxpayers who make between $75,000 and $125,000 a year will receive $250, plus the same amount for their dependents, for a maximum of $500.
Couples who earn between $150,000 and $250,000 will receive $500, plus $250 for dependents, maxing out at $750.
The rebate amounts decline by income until they phase out entirely for people earning over $500,000. You can see the rebate amounts for higher-income groups here.