As high inflation saddles Americans with an extra financial burden, some states are helping out with one-time stimulus rebates to offset the pain of higher prices.
At least 20 states are offering one-time rebates or expanded tax credits to help residents cope with inflation as both Republican and Democratic governors seek to spend down budget surpluses mostly from COVID-19 relief funding.
Some states have already delivered the payments, while others plan to send them beginning next year.
The checks come as consumers wrestle with sticker shock for the first time in a generation. Although inflation has shown signs of decelerating – prices rose 7.7% on annual basis in October and 0.4% from the previous month – it is still hovering near the highest level in 40 years.
FILE - People shop for groceries in a Manhattan store on Oct. 26, 2022, in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Here is a closer look at the states sending checks – and who could qualify for the money.
Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, approved a state budget that includes inflation relief checks as high as $1,050 for a married couple with at least one dependent. The payments – which are coming out of California's $97 billion budget surplus – will be sent either as direct deposits or debit cards by 2023.
The first payments were delivered in October.
– Single taxpayers who earn less than $75,000 a year will qualify for $350, plus another $350 if they have any dependents.
– Couples who file jointly and make less than $150,000 a year will receive up to $700, plus $350 for any dependents, for a total of $1,050.
The payments are tapered for higher earners.
The money is technically a tax refund that will send roughly $9.5 billion back to state residents.
Residents who filed their 2021 tax return by June 30 received a check for $750 by September. Joint filers will receive up to $1,500.
Filers who received an extension and filed by the Oct. 17 deadline will receive the tax refund by the end of January.
Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed the refund bill in late May.
Connecticut residents qualify for a "child tax rebate" worth up to $250 per child (for a maximum of three children, or $750) if their federal adjusted gross income does not exceed $100,000 for single filers and $200,000 for married couples filing a joint return.
Applications for the rebate were due at the end of July. The state started sending payments in late August.
Delaware residents who had filed a 2020 state tax return received a one-time payment of $300 earlier this year. Couples filing jointly received $300 apiece. The relief was intended to help Delawareans facing higher prices at the grocery store and gas pump.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, announced over the summer that his administration is sending checks worth up to $450 per child to lower-income families. An estimated 59,000 families will qualify for the money.
Florida is paying for the initiative by reallocating $35.5 million that it received from President Biden's COVID-19 relief package, the American Rescue Plan.
Eligible recipients include foster parents, relative and nonrelative caregivers and families receiving funds from the Florida Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program or Guardianship Assistance program, according to a statement from the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Most families received the money ahead of the Sunshine State's "back-to-school" sales-tax holiday, which ran from July 25 to Aug. 7.
Georgia residents who filed both their 2020 and 2021 tax returns will be eligible to receive rebate payments based on their tax-filing status:
– Single filers: Maximum $250
– Head of household: Maximum $375
– Married filing jointly: Maximum $500
The state was able to approve the rebates thanks to a historic budget surplus.
The Hawaii legislature approved a tax rebate earlier this year that provides $300 to residents who earned less than $100,000 in 2021. Those who earned more than $100,000 will receive a one-time payout of $100.
The Department of Taxation has said that payments could begin processing in late August with most payments to be sent out by the end of October.
Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, signed a law in February providing $75 to each taxpayer and dependent, or 12% of their 2020 state income tax liability, whichever is greater.
Idaho started mailing the checks in March. You can check the status of your rebate online.
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Illinois approved a $1.83 billion relief package earlier this year that includes both income and property tax rebates.
Under the law, individuals who earned less than $200,000 in 2021 will receive a $50 tax rebate. Couples who file jointly and who earned less than $400,000 in 2021 will receive a one-time payment of $100.
Filers can receive another $100 per dependent they claimed on their 2021 taxes, with a maximum of three dependents. A family of five could receive as much as $400 under the measure.
The state began delivering $125 payments in May to all residents regardless of income thanks to Indiana's automatic taxpayer refund law. Lawmakers later added another $200 payment.
Taxpayers who filed a 2021 state tax return and have an adjusted gross income of less than $100,000 if single, $150,000 if filing as head of household and $200,000 if married and filing jointly will receive a one-time payment of $850. Couples filing jointly can receive $1,700.
Any residents who pay 2021 Massachusetts personal income taxes and file their 2021 return by Oct. 15, 2023, will receive a stimulus tax refund.
The refund is worth about 14% of your state income tax liability; you can use this online tool to calculate how much you are owed.
Nearly $3 billion will be returned to eligible taxpayers in November and December.
Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, signed a bill in May approving a $750 payment for frontline workers. Eligible individuals must have worked at least 120 hours in Minnesota between March 15, 2020 and June 30, 2021.
Workers with direct COVID-19 patient-care responsibilities must have an annual income of less than $175,000 between December 2019 and January 2022. If employees did not work directly with COVID-19 patients, the payment threshold is lowered to $85,000 for the same period,
The application period closed on July 22.
Property tax rebates are available to New Jersey residents who owned or rented a primary home in the state on Oct. 1, 2019. In order to qualify, homeowners cannot have a 2019 household income above $250,000; for renters, the limit is $150,000.
Individuals have until Dec. 30, 2022 to apply for the rebate.
Qualified homeowners can receive a maximum payment of $1,500, while renters can receive up to $450.
Earlier this year, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham approved a measure offering residents $250 if their income is less than $75,000 a year, and $500 for married couples filing joint returns, heads of household and surviving spouses with incomes under $150,000.
The August rebate is in addition to previous payments of $250 and $500 sent in June.
In June, homeowners began receiving property tax rebates worth an average of $1,050.
In order to receive the rebate, New York residents must qualify for the 2022 School Tax Relief (STAR) credit or exemption and have a school tax liability that is higher than the STAR benefit. Individuals must also have a 2020 income of $250,000 or less.
On top of that, New York is delivering payments to people who received at least $100 for either or both of the state's child credit or earned income credit for the 2021 tax year. To qualify for the money, a 2021 New York State income tax return must have been filed by April 18, 2022.
Oregon delivered "one-time assistance payments" to low-income residents who claimed the state's earned income tax credit on their 2020 state income tax return and lived in the state from July 1 to Dec. 31, 2020.
The payments are worth $400 per household.
The state began delivering payments in June 2022; by law, Oregon stopped sending the payments after July.
The Keystone State set up a property tax and rent rebate program in July, delivering money from a $121.7 million fund to people with disabilities, older homeowners and renters. Those eligible for the program should visit the myPath website or file a paper application before Dec. 31, 2022.
Payments will be delivered via direct deposit or check.
The maximum standard rebate is $650, but some homeowners can qualify for $975 in supplemental rebates.
Rhode Island is delivering a "child tax rebate" to qualifying families – married couples with a gross income of $200,000 or less, and individuals with a gross income of $100,000 or less.
Recipients must also live in Rhode Island.
Each eligible family will receive $250 per child for a maximum of $750.
Payments are only available for children who were 18 or younger at the end of 2021.
The state began delivering the payments in October.
Some taxpayers will qualify for a one-time payment of up to $800. Details for obtaining the rebate are expected to be released later this year.
Lawmakers approved a one-time tax rebate in June. Taxpayers who filed a return by July 1 will receive a rebate by Oct. 31 of $250 if single, while couples filing jointly will get up to $500. You must file your taxes by Nov. 1 to receive the rebate.