Back in December, Governor Baker signed into law the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay program.

Gov. Charlie Baker says Massachusetts is poised to begin distributing $500 payments to about 500,000 low-income workers. The payments announced Tuesday are part of a COVID-19 program for essential employees that were included in a $4 billion spending plan approved by lawmakers and signed by Baker in December using federal American Rescue Plan Act dollars. The first payments will be mailed by the end of March.

These payments are the first round of funds to be distributed as part of the program. That means more checks will be released later.

Do you qualify?

You should go to Mass.gov.com  to see if you are eligible by when you received unemployment in certain years, Also see if you are eligible based on residency and income.

COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program - Mass.gov - www.mass.gov
COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program - Mass.gov - www.mass.gov
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Just so you know, your eligibility is not determined by what you do for a living.

Mass.gov says You are eligible for a payment if your income from employment in 2020 was at least $12,750 and your total income puts you below 300% of the federal poverty level, based on filed 2020 Massachusetts tax returns.

The best way to figure out if you will get a check is to look at your tax returns for 2019, 2020,2021.

If you are looking for further information on future rounds of checks, that information will be available this summer on the mass.gov website. You do not need to sign up for this. The state will have your tax returns and they will be going with that and your household size and income.

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