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How to Apply for California Inflation Relief Checks

Ruchi Gupta - Author
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Jun. 30 2022, Published 7:06 a.m. ET

California inflation relief checks are coming for residents who qualify for the payment. The payment targets millions of people in the state with little income. Who's eligible for California’s inflation relief payment, and when will the checks arrive?

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Sky-high inflation continues to devastate families across the country. The cost of everything, from gas to food, has gone through the roof. In California, gas prices have soared to nearly 30 percent above the national average. To help residents cope with inflation, Californian leaders are setting aside a chunk of the state’s budget surplus for relief programs.

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California’s inflation relief checks, explained

California’s statehouse and legislature agreed to spend $17 billion on inflation relief programs. The package includes a gas tax rebate of as much as $1,050 per household. Additionally, the relief package includes a boost to supplemental payments to seniors and disabled people, and an allocation to the CalWORKS program.

Governor Gavin Newsom initially proposed sending $400 to drivers across the state to offset the high prices at gas pumps. However, that idea faced resistance in the legislature.

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A section of lawmakers also proposed suspending the gas tax. However, many argued that a gas tax holiday would do little to bring down gas prices, so the governor and lawmakers agreed to expand various social programs and send out rebates to taxpayers. Some 23 million residents are expected to benefit from the relief program.

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Who's eligible for California’s inflation relief checks?

The tax rebate targets households with less than $500,000 in annual income, and the check size varies by income level. A person making no more than $75,000 per year will receive $350 and an additional $350 for dependents, meaning that a couple earning up to $150,000 combined and has at least one child would get $1,050.

For a single person earning up to $125,000 and a couple making up to $250,000, the check amount is $250 per adult and an additional $250 for dependents. For a single person making up to $250,000 or a couple earning up to $500,000, the relief amount is $200 per adult and an extra $200 for dependents.

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California boosts its supplemental payments in inflation relief efforts

The state plans to add $300 million to its supplemental benefits program for seniors and disabled residents. That would increase monthly payments by almost $40 for individuals and $100 for couples.

Additionally, the state plans to put $800 million more into its CalWORKS grant program. The program provides cash and services to qualifying families. California’s inflation relief package also includes $200 million in additional funding to the reproductive healthcare services. The funding boost to the reproductive healthcare comes in the wake of the shocking reversal of Roe v. Wade.

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When will California’s inflation relief checks arrive?

The state is expected to begin sending out the checks in October. The money is expected to have reach people by the end of 2022 or early 2023.

While California isn’t going to pause the gas tax, the state plans to suspend the sales tax on diesel for 12 months. The state plans to give $439 million to local governments to make up for the loss of the diesel tax and to fund transportation projects.

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