COVID-19 Federal and State Relief Packages

California

The Legislature and the Governor approved a $9.6 Billion COVID-19 emergency stimulus package. The package assists the most in-need communities and households that did not receive any federal government assistance in the previous stimulus. 

Small Business Support:

  • Up to $25,000 grants for small businesses affected by the pandemic. 
  • $2 billion in tax cuts, allowing small businesses eligible for federal PPP loans to deduct up to $150,000 for state taxes.
  • Fee reductions through waivers and license relief to restaurants, barbering, and cosmetology businesses. 

Support Families:   

  • $400 million for child care providers.
  • $24 million in funding for Housing for Harvest to help agricultural workers who need to quarantine due to COVID-19. 
  • $35 million in funding for food and diaper banks. 

Direct Financial Relief:

  • Provides 5.7 million relief payments to low-income California Residents: 
  • One-time $600 payment to individuals who earn less than $30,000 and are eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • One-time $600 payment to Undocumented households. 
  • One-time $600 payment to families enrolled in CalWORKS or individuals enrolled in SSI or CAPI programs. 

Support for College Students: 

  • Provides support for community college students and funding for CalFresh outreach.
  • Provides $100 million in emergency financial aid for community college students. 
  • Provides $6 million for outreach and application assistance for CalFresh for CSU, UC, and community college students. 

Support for the Arts:

  • $50 million in grants for cultural institutions like museums and art spaces.

FAQs:

Do I qualify for the $600 stimulus?

  1. If you claimed the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CEITC) on your 2020 income tax returns you may be eligible. This benefit is generally for those who earn $30,000 a year or less. If you qualify and you did not claim the CEITC, you can file an amended return on your 2020 taxes to receive the stimulus. 
  2. If you use an individual taxpayer ID number to file income taxes and earn $75,000 a year or less after deductions, you may be eligible. This may apply to those who don’t have Social Security numbers, including undocumented immigrants working in the state.
  3. If you receive money from the federal supplemental security income (SSI), the state supplementary payment (SSP) programs, or the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants you may be eligible. 
  4. If your household is enrolled in CalWorks. CalWorks is the state public assistance program that helps families pay for housing, food, and other vital expenses in low-income households with children whose parents are absent, disabled, or passed away you may be eligible. 

When will I receive the stimulus? 

  1. According to the Franchise Tax Board, those who are eligible through their tax returns should be receiving the stimulus between 45- 60 days after receiving their state tax refund.
  2. Those who are eligible for the money through tax returns should get it between 45 days and 60 days after receiving their state tax refunds, according to the Franchise Tax Board.
  3. CalWorks recipients will have their payment placed on a debit card, which they are expected to receive by mid-April.

Federal

President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan to deliver immediate relief for American workers. The plan will build a bridge to an equitable economic recovery and more than two thirds of its tax cuts and direct payments goes to families making less than $90,000 per year. The plan includes:  

Small Business Support:

  • The American Rescue Plan has a $10 billion down payment to provide capital to small businesses in economically disadvantaged areas & Black & Brown-owned businesses. It also has $28.6 billion for restaurants. 
  • Provides emergency grants, lending, and investment to hard-hit small businesses so they can rehire and retain workers and purchase the health and sanitation equipment they need to keep workers safe. 

Support Families:   

  • It will reduce child care costs for working families, help many women return to the labor force, & rebuild the supply of & increase pay for childcare workers
  • Provides $21.5 billion in emergency rental assistance to keep families in homes.
  • Expands the Child Tax Credit to the families of 66 million children. The plan will also deliver an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit of up to $1,000 to 17 million low-income workers like cashiers, food preparers, & home health aides.
  • Increases SNAP benefits by 15 percent through September 2021. The bill also funds partnerships with restaurants to feed American families and keep workers in the restaurant industry on the job. 
  • Provides an additional $1 billion for states to cover the additional cash assistance that Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) recipients needed as a result of the crisis.

Direct Financial Relief:

  • Allows more than 85% of American households to receive a direct check of $1,400 per person.
  • Extends unemployment benefits through Labor Day & raise the benefits by $300 per week.

Education:

  • Allocates over $120 billion in grants to state educational agencies, with 90% allocated to localities to help schools reopen safely. 
  • Any student loan forgiveness passed in the next 5 years will be tax-free.

Public Health:

  • Allocates $7.5 billion to track, administer, & distribute COVID vaccines. Another $46 billion will go toward diagnosing & tracing coronavirus infections & $2 billion will go toward buying & distributing various testing supplies & PPE.
  • Lowers or eliminate health insurance premiums for millions of lower- and middle-income families enrolled in health insurance marketplaces.
  • State and Local Aid:
  • Provides $360 billion in assistance to state & local governments to offset budget losses from the pandemic.

FAQs:

Do I qualify for the new federal stimulus? How much would each person receive? 

  • Up to $1,400 for qualifying individuals.
    • $2,800 for qualifying couples who file a joint tax return.
    • $1,400 for each child dependent under the age of 17.$1,400 for each qualifying adult dependent.
    • If you’re a single filer, your payment is reduced if your adjusted gross income (AGI) is above $75,000. For married couples filing jointly, the phase-out begins at an AGI of $150,000. If you file as head of household, the reductions begin at $112,500 (if you are single, widowed or divorced and claim a child as a dependent, you probably have been filing as head of household).
  • Payments will phase out completely at the following income levels:
    • $80,000 AGI for single taxpayers
    • $160,000 AGI for married taxpayers filing jointly 
    • $120,000 AGI for heads of household

Which Tax Year Is Used to Determine Eligibility?
The IRS will use the most recent tax return on file (2019 or 2020). If your income has fluctuated during the pandemic, you could consider filing your 2020 taxes as soon as possible to qualify. For example, if your income in 2019 was too high to receive a stimulus payment up front, but your 2020 income decreased to a level that would make you eligible to receive a full or partial payment, it may benefit you to submit your tax return ASAP so your payment is based on that most recent tax return. 

When will I receive the stimulus? 
The administration is under pressure to get these payments out as soon as possible. You may check your payment status at https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment