California issues 600,000 direct payments in 1st batch of new Golden State Stimulus checks


A stimulus check is seen in a file image (iStock/Getty Images Plus)

California issued hundreds of thousands of direct payments to eligible residents as the first batch of expanded Golden State Stimulus checks was deposited into bank accounts last Friday.

The state distributed approximately 600,000 direct payments worth an estimated total of $354 million, according to Daniel Tahara, a spokesman for state’s Franchise Tax Board.

The next round of payments will go out in approximately two weeks, though an exact date has not been set yet, he said.

California is planning to distribute $12 billion total in stimulus payments to help residents recover from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office. About 66% of California’s population is expected to benefit from what is being touted as the largest state tax rebate ever in the U.S.

Taxpayers who earned $75,000 or less last year may qualify to receive up to $600, and those claiming at least one dependent could get an additional $500.

Eligibility is determined by the person’s 2020 tax return, and the deadline to submit one to be considered for the state’s stimulus program is Oct. 15, 2021.

An online tool has been set up by the state to help residents figure out if they qualify, as well as provide an estimated amount of what they could collect.

The California Franchise Tax Board earlier indicated that recipients who already filed their tax returns and have direct deposit selected as their refund option could see the payment arrive in their bank account by Oct. 15.

Stimulus checks could be delayed, however, for anyone who hasn’t yet filed their 2020 taxes.

For those who typically get their state tax refund by mail, the first payments are estimated to be mailed out on Oct. 5, according to Tahara.

Once mailed, the paper checks will take about three weeks to arrive, he added.

The state has more details about tax return and refund processing times on its Wait Times dashboard.

And further information about the Golden State Stimulus payments can be found here, and on the state’s help page here.

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