While federal initiatives to create additional or ongoing federal stimulus checks don't appear to have much momentum in Washington, D.C., some Americans are still receiving stimulus relief from their state governments — and not only those who are unemployed.
A handful of states have sent (or are planning to send) bonuses to teachers and other essential workers as a form of "hazard pay" to attract and retain people in these difficult jobs. In other states, extra funds are being distributed to low-income and middle-class families. Here's a rundown of who is getting what and where.
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Thanks to a budget surplus, nearly two-thirds of Californians are receiving relief known as the Golden State Stimulus I and II. Payments total anywhere from $500 to $1,200, depending on eligibility and payment round.
California recently expanded the stimulus program to include middle-class families, and checks from this expansion are now being sent out, as of early September 2021.
Colorado residents who claimed unemployment benefits between $25 and $500 for any week between March 15, 2020 and Oct. 24, 2020 also got a one-time stimulus payment (opens in new tab) totaling $375. Those eligible have already received this benefit, as the program began last December and has now concluded.
First responders and educators in Florida are receiving one-time, $1,000 bonuses (opens in new tab) using funding from the Biden administration's American Rescue Plan. The first wave of payments went out to firefighters, law enforcement officers, EMTs and paramedics, while a second round will be going to teachers and school principals.
While there was some initial controversy around the payout plan, Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he expects payments to be distributed mid-August (opens in new tab).
Educators and school staff in Georgia are getting retention bonuses (opens in new tab) of $500 (for part-time workers) or $1000 (for full-time employees). Eligible groups include teachers, principals, mental-health and medical professionals, and other support staff: custodians, bus drivers, media specialists, clerical staff and administrative assistants.
Low-income earners in Maryland received state stimulus payments of either $300 or $500 (opens in new tab) earlier this year. To qualify, taxpayers had to claim the earned-income tax credit on their 2019 state returns. Maryland also distributed $1,000 checks (opens in new tab) to people who had difficulty accessing unemployment benefits.
Michigan sent so-called hazard pay (opens in new tab) to teachers and school staff earlier this year. Checks totaled $500 and $250, respectively. Recipients must have worked 75% of the 2019–2020 school year to qualify, and neither administrators nor private, denominational or parochial-school staff were eligible.
In Detroit, the local school district is giving teachers another round of hazard pay totaling $2,000 (opens in new tab) over the course of the 2021-22 school year.
A handful of low-income households in New Mexico received one-time, $750 payments (opens in new tab) this summer as part of an emergency financial assistance program for those who did not receive a federal stimulus check. More than 6,300 people applied for aid, which was granted to 4,631 households.
Tennessee's state legislature approved $1,000 bonuses (opens in new tab) for K-12 teachers in lieu of a 2% raise that was originally proposed.
A handful of school districts in Texas are distributing pay raises and cash incentives (opens in new tab) for teachers and school employees.
Those in Fort Worth and Arlington are getting a 4% bump, while those in Denton and Mansfield are getting an additional 2%. Plus, teachers and staff in Denton will get a $500 retention bonus, and those in Irving will get $2,000.
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