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State begins second round of $500 payments to low-income workers

Starting today, certain residents within Massachusetts are set to receive a round of stimulus checks from the state.
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 6, 2022 at 6:34 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - Starting today, certain residents within Massachusetts are set to receive a round of stimulus checks from the state. The $500 checks are part of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program.

For the second time this year, the state will be delivering $500 checks - this time to more than 300,000 eligible residents.

The Baker Administration is using federal American Rescue Plan money to acknowledge certain workers who still went to work every day amid the pandemic.

“It’s a way to help these people with a relatively modest amount of $500, but it’s something to recognize their service,” said AIC Economics Professor John Rogers.

According to the Baker Administration, in order to qualify for this second check, you must be a Massachusetts resident who worked and filed a 2021 tax return. The funds given in March were based off of a 2020 tax return.

Also, a single filer had to earn less than $39,000. That number goes up to $79,500 for a household of four.

The Baker Administration said anyone who received the first check is not eligible for this round.

Rogers told Western Mass News that every dollar will those residents help right now.

“Obviously with inflation rate, it’s not going to last very long, but it might help with your gas bills and some of the incidentals that are racking up now,” Rogers added.

Rogers said with plenty of jobs available and relatively low unemployment, he doesn’t expect to see another round of stimulus money to make it through Congress, but he said we’re living in tough times, even if you are employed.

“Even if you have a job, your salary might go up four or five percent, which sounds great, but inflation is at eight -and-a-half percent and you’re not really making any progress and that’s just very debilitating to people,” Rogers noted.