California stimulus checks: These Social Security recipients are eligible for Golden State payments – Community News
Stimulus Check

California stimulus checks: These Social Security recipients are eligible for Golden State payments

California has to date distributed nearly 4.5 million Golden State Stimulus II checks, about half of the payments expected to be issued under the program.

But there is still some confusion about who will receive the infusion of funds, including whether Social Security recipients will get them.

The short answer is: some do and some don’t.

That’s because under state guidelines, only certain Social Security beneficiaries qualify for California’s incentive checks.

Who is eligible:

Californians who receive Social Security benefits are eligible for a stimulus check of up to $1,100 ($600 for themselves, $500 for an eligible dependent) provided they meet all qualifications AND they reported other sources of income with a modified gross income (AGI) between $1 and up to $75,000 on their 2020 tax returns. The state notes that when calculating an individual’s AGI, Social Security is not included.

The California Franchise Tax Board on its website has a hypothetical case where a Social Security beneficiary would qualify for a GSS II payment.

According to their scenario, someone with a savings account gets $2,700 per month in Social Security. That person reports $32,400 in Social Security income and taxable interest of $12.37 from the bank account on their 2020 tax return. That interest counts toward the California AGI, making the person eligible for the payment (assuming they meets all other requirements, which can be found below).

Who is not eligible?

If Social Security is the person’s ONLY form of income, he or she is NOT eligible for a GSS II payment, even if they meet all of the other eligibility requirements.

In addition to Social Security, there are other types of income that are excluded from a person’s AGI: CalWorks and CalFresh benefits; Supplemental Security Income (SSI)/State Supplementary Payment (SSP) and Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI); State disability insurance (SDI) and VA disability benefits; and unemployment.

Admission Requirements:

For Social Security recipients who have declared income of $1 to $75,000 on their 2020 tax returns, here are the additional qualifications: They must have been in California for most of last year and still live in the state, a Social Security number (SSN) or an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN), and cannot be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer.

Still not sure if you qualify? California has an online tool that helps answer that question.

And if you think you qualify but haven’t received a GSS II payment, the state expects to issue the incentive checks early next year.

And for those looking for more information about the GSS II program, you will find all the details here in the extensive guide from the Tax Authorities.