LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 16: California Governor Gavin Newson, left, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, right, during a press conference at a COVID-19 vaccination site established in a partnership between the federal government and the state opened today at Cal State Los Angeles, one of two in the state and the first phase of an effort expected to spread to 100 sites across the nation. The CSULA site is co-run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state of California through the governor's Office of Emergency Services. The site is expected to have an ultimate capacity of administering 6,000 doses per day, although it opened Monday with just 3,000 doses. Gov. Gavin Newsom said, however, the site would reach the 6,000-dose mark by the end of the week at both the Los Angeles and a Oakland site. Shortages in supply have hampered vaccination efforts at county- and city-operated sites, but officials noted that the vaccines provided at the two FEMA sites will be in addition to the state's normal supply. "We're committed to ensuring that everyone who wants a vaccine gets one,'' FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton said during a news conference at the CSULA site. Fenton noted that the site was chosen specifically for its accessibility to hard-to-reach communities, "focusing on areas where minorities make up over 40% of the population, looking at other factors such as poverty, lack of housing or vehicle access.'' Cal State LA on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021 in Los Angeles, CA. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times).
California Gov. Gavin Newsom, left, shown with L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, announced a state stimulus that includes a onetime $600 payment to households whose income is below $75,000. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)
COVID Economy

Am I eligible for California’s $600 COVID-19 stimulus check and other aid?

In all, the state will provide 5.7 million payments to low-income Californians as part of the $9.6-billion economic recovery package.

The “Golden State stimulus,” an ambitious COVID-19 relief program, will be expedited for legislative approval next week after Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a deal on the plan Wednesday.

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It’s part of a $9.6-billion economic recovery package. Aside from federal funds for child-care assistance, the rest of the relief package comes from state taxpayer money and is made possible by tax revenue collections that were much better than expected.

Here are the key points:

$600 state stimulus payment

The onetime $600 payment to households, which Newsom proposed last month, would cost about $2.3 billion and go to people including those receiving the California earned income tax credit for 2020, given to people making under $30,000 a year. In addition, the agreement would provide a stimulus check to taxpayers with individual tax identification numbers who did not receive federal stimulus payments and whose income is below $75,000.

Beneficiaries would include immigrants who are in the country illegally who file tax forms. ITIN taxpayers who also qualify for the California earned income tax credit would receive a total of $1,200, state leaders said.

In all, the state would provide 5.7 million payments to low-income Californians.

Eligibility: California residents could be eligible for the earned income tax credit if they have annual incomes of $30,000 or less, which last year included 3.9 million taxpayers. The relief package provides a $600 onetime grant to households enrolled in the CalWORKS public assistance program and recipients of supplemental security income and the state’s Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants program.

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$2.1 billion in grants for small businesses

The grant proposal, which requires approval by the Legislature, builds on a $500-million program that has provided 21,000 small businesses with financial help since December.

The tax relief will be provided over the next several years by exempting the first $150,000 of expenses paid by federal Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds. In addition, the package includes $116 million in fee waivers for two years for heavily affected service industries.

Other provisions

  • $100 million in emergency financial aid for qualifying low-income students carrying six or more units at California Community Colleges
  • $24 million for financial aid and services through Housing for the Harvest, which supports agricultural workers who have to quarantine because of COVID-19
  • $35 million for food banks and diapers
  • $6 million for outreach and application assistance to University of California, California State University and California Community Colleges students made newly eligible for CalFresh, the federal food assistance program

Federal relief

The new state programs would be in addition to federal relief programs coming out of Washington, D.C., including the $600-per-person stimulus checks already approved by Congress and direct payments of up to $1,400 per person that have been proposed by House Democrats.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.