In Massachusetts, 500,000 people will receive $500 one-time payouts through the Employee Premium Pay Program in March. Essential workers are the first set of recipients.
“Distribution of the first round of $500 payments for low-income workers under the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program is finally happening! I am glad that these essential workers who worked through the pandemic are getting a little help!” Sen. Pat Jehlen posted on twitter.
The COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program was signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on December 13, 2021. The legislature allocated $460 million for premium payments to Massachusetts workers, which will provide $500 payments to 500,000 low-income workers throughout the state.
According to Yahoo, recipients must have:
- Filed a 2020 tax return
- Been a Massachusetts resident in 2020, or a part-year resident that lived in Massachusetts between March 10, 2020, and December 31, 2020
- Earned income of at least $12,750 in 2020 employment compensation
- Had a total household income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level in 2020
Those who qualify will automatically receive a check, according to the state’s website.
The first round of payments will not be available to individuals who received unemployment compensation in 2020, nor to Commonwealth executive branch employees who received or will receive a one-time payment from the state as their employer.
To meet the $12,750 income requirement, you must work 20 hours a week for 50 weeks at minimum wage (currently $12.75).
If you are a single filer and you do not have any dependents, the maximum income is $38,280. If you are married, have two dependents, or do not have a spouse but with three dependents, you also qualify with a household income of $78,600. Married filers are eligible, so far each is independently qualified, the website noted.