BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts is poised to begin distributing $500 payments to about 500,000 low-income workers, Gov. Charlie Baker said Tuesday.
The payments are part of a COVID-19 program for essential employees that was included in a $4 billion spending plan approved by lawmakers and signed by Baker in December using federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars.
The payments, worth a total of $250 million, will be mailed out by the end of March, officials said.
“This program will support those workers who served our communities, especially early in the pandemic,” Baker said in a written statement.
Based on 2020 Massachusetts tax returns, individuals will be eligible for payments if their income from employment was at least $12,750 and their total income put them below 300% of the federal poverty level.
A single filer with no dependents who earned up to $38,280 would be eligible for the payments while a resident who files with a spouse and two dependents, or with no spouse and three dependents, could be eligible with a household income up to $78,600.
Married filers can each be eligible, provided each independently qualifies.
Individuals who received unemployment compensation in 2020 will not be eligible for the first round of payments.