It’s not the first time in recent years the state has put money back into taxpayers’ bank accounts. The Golden State Stimulus program of 2021 issued direct payments to low-income Californians through GSS I, then low- and middle-income residents through GSS II.
But there was a big group left out with GSS I and II: Californians who relied exclusively on social security, disability or other sources of public assistance as their source of income.
With the Golden State Stimulus payments in 2021, people whose sole source of income was public assistance were not eligible for a payment because their tax forms showed $0 of California Adjusted Gross Income (or CA AGI). Californians needed between $1 and $75,000 of income to qualify for the Golden State Stimulus.
However, with the Middle Class Tax Refund this year (also known as inflation relief payments), even people who reported $0 of AGI on their 2020 taxes qualify for a payment.
An individual who relies exclusively on social security or disability as their income, and therefore had a CA AGI or $0 in 2020, will receive $350 if they do not claim a dependent, or $700 if they have at least one dependent, according to the Franchise Tax Bureau. Couples filing jointly will receive even more. (Calculate how much you’ll get here.)
When Social Security recipients will receive their payment depends largely on how they filed their 2020 taxes. People who filed electronically and received a tax refund by direct deposit can expect to receive this Middle Class Tax Refund by direct deposit by Nov. 14. Everyone else will get their payment by debit card in the mail by Jan. 15, 2023, the Franchise Tax Board says.
Social Security recipients have more good news to look forward to this week. On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Social Security Administration is set to announce its cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2023. It’s expected to be the largest increase in payments for beneficiaries in 40 years, The Hill’s Changing America reports.