Governor Janet Mills confirmed today that disaster relief checks will be sent out, but says the amount may be a little less than originally reported.

Who Will Get the Disaster Relief Checks?

According to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, about 535,000 working Maine residents are eligible for the payments. The checks will be sent automatically to any Maine person who lived full-time in the state and earned wages, salaries, tips, or other taxable employee pay within the 2020 tax year, as long as they report that income and file a state individual tax return by October 31, 2021. If you've already filed your tax information for the 2020 tax year, then you're all set.

Another requirement is the amount of income you collected. Residents 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.

How Much Will I Get?

Originally, it was reported that the relief checks would be issued in the amount of $300. On Wednesday, Mills confirmed that the checks were approved and that most Mainers can expect to receive about $275 per person.

The State Legislature enacted the payments as part of a bipartisan budget deal and Governor Mills signed it into law as a thank you to the people who worked during the pandemic.

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.

How Did They Arrive at That Amount?

According to the Mills' administration, the law prohibits these payments from exceeding $300 and requires that the amount be determined by dividing the funding approved by the Legislature, $149.8 million, by the number of eligible recipients.

This is still not set in stone, however. The final payment amount will be announced soon, following the October 31 eligibility deadline.

When Will I Get My Money?

The payments are going to start going out next week. About 100,000 checks will be sent each week, over a period of five to six weeks, and will be delivered as paper checks via the U.S. Postal Service. All eligible Mainers should have their money before the end of the year.

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