The Mills Administration announced today that it will issue Disaster Relief Payments to Maine people who worked during the pandemic beginning next month. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS) estimates that approximately 535,000 working Maine people are eligible and are expected to receive about $275 per person.
The one-time payments are the result of a bipartisan budget deal enacted by the State Legislature and signed into law by Governor Mills as a thank you to those who continued to show up to work during the pandemic last year.
“The hardworking men and women who kept our state running through the pandemic deserve our appreciation,” said Governor Janet Mills. “As a result of the bipartisan budget passed by the Legislature and signed by me, my Administration estimates that we will send one-time payments of about $275 to more than half a million Maine people. I hope this will help Maine families to some small degree as we continue the fight against COVID-19 and work to fully recover our economy.”
“This bipartisan initiative will provide financial relief to Mainers who worked during the pandemic, and we aim to get these checks into these Mainers’ hands as quickly as possible,” said Kirsten Figueroa, Commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.
Checks will be issued automatically to any Maine person who lived full-time in Maine and earned wages, salaries, tips, or other taxable employee pay within the 2020 tax year, so long as they report that income and file a State individual tax return by October 31, 2021. Those who have already filed their tax return with this information for the 2020 tax year need not take additional action.
Those with an adjusted gross income for 2020 of more than $75,000 (or $150,000 if filing jointly) are ineligible, as is anyone who was claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s income tax return for the 2020 tax year.
The law prohibits these payments from exceeding $300 – and requires that the final payment amount be determined by dividing the funding appropriated by the Legislature, $149.8 million, by the number of eligible recipients. The final payment amount will be announced soon, following the October 31 eligibility deadline.
Payments will be issued beginning in early November – with approximately 100,000 checks sent each week over a period of five to six weeks. Payments will arrive via paper check via the U.S. Postal Service no later than December 31, 2021.
No application is required. Full eligibility details are available at Maine.gov/revenue/check. Those with questions about Disaster Relief Payments should contact Maine Revenue Services at (207) 624-9924 or visit Maine.gov/revenue/check.