Here’s who will get $500 checks from the state starting next week

The payments are through the state's COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program.

Around 300,000 essential workers across the state will receive $500 payments from the state starting next week.

It is the second round of payments being made under the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program, according to the state Executive Office for Administration & Finance.

But the number is 30,000 less than the projected 330,000 individuals expected to be eligible to receive payments. Originally, the number of payments was estimated based on 2021 tax returns that had not yet been received. With those returns now in, the data shows who is actually eligible for the payments.

To qualify for the one-time $500 payment, workers must meet several criteria. The measures for eligibility include filing a 2021 tax return, being a Massachusetts resident on or before June 15 last year, or being a part-year resident that resided in Massachusetts between Jan. 1 and June 15 last year. Earned income must also be at least $13,500, or the household income must be at or below 300 percent the federal poverty level for last year, according to the state.


The $13,500 in pay is equal to 20 hours per week for 50 weeks at minimum wage for last year, which was $13.50 per hour.

Disqualifying criteria include having received the first payment, receiving unemployment last year, or being an employee of the state’s Executive Branch and receiving a one-time COVID-19 payment from the state.


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