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Which states are sending winter relief checks up to $1,000 and who qualifies?



While inflation has fallen for several months, prices today remain, on average, six percent higher than those paid by consumers a year ago. To help residents keep up with inflation, three states are providing direct relief.

Connecticut – Premium Pay

On 1 February, the state of Connecticut began making direct payments to some residents to support them combat inflation and thank them for their brave service during the pandemic. The state’s comptroller, Sean Scanlon, announced that around 150,000 essential workers were eligible to receive up to $1,000 through the Premium Pay Program.

Scanlon said that during the pandemic, “Connecticut’s frontline workers stepped up and kept our grocery stores open, our hospitals operational, our communities safe.” The government sees the payments as “one small way we can thank them [… and] show how grateful we are to our heroes.”

Who is eligible?

To receive a payment, you must have “worked as an essential worker in Connecticut for the entirety of the time period between March 10, 2020, and May 7, 2022.” Additionally, no remote or public-sector workers are eligible, and those who are must have “worked in a job categorized by the CDC as 1A or 1B,” in a role where they made $149,999 or less.

When will payments arrive?

The first batch of direct deposit payments, sent to around 120,000 workers, were sent on 1 February. An additional 35,000 checks were sent through the mail, which should arrive any day as the state assumed that it would take them between five to six weeks to get the payments out the door.

Idaho – Property Tax Reduction program

Property owners in Idaho make qualify for relief under the state’s Property Tax Reduction program. If eligible, homeowners, and those who resided in the state in 2022, could see their property tax bill fall by anywhere between $250 and $1,500.

Who is eligible?

To qualify for the tax credit, one’s 2022 income, “after deducting medical expenses,” must have been equal to or less than $33,870. One must also be:

  • 65 or older;
  • blind or disabled;
  • widowed;
  • a former POW or hostage; or
  • a motherless or fatherless child under 18 years old.

Additionally, the state will only be allowing those who “owned and lived in a home in Idaho that was [their] primary residence before April 15, 2023.”

How to apply for the tax credit?

An application must be sent in order to receive the credit. The application can be obtained from one’s county assessor’s office or through the Idaho State Tax Commission. If approved, one will see the deduction on their December 2023 property tax bill. When applying, you will need to provide the state with your income, information on medical and funeral expenses spent in 2022, proof that you fall into one of the qualifying groups listed above, and proof of homeownership.

Maine – Emergency Energy Relief Plan

Winters can be tough in Maine, and as energy bills remain elevated, the state government is stepping in to support residents through the sending of a one-time cash payment. The checks are with $450, and the state has reported that all checks have been sent and should arrive shortly —if they haven’t already been received.

Who is eligible?

There are around 880,000 Mainers who are eligible to receive a payment. To qualify, one must have filed a 2021 tax return by 31 October 2022. Additionally, the tax filer or couples filing jointly must have had an income under these levels in 2021:

  • $200,000 for individuals filing a married joint return or surviving spouses permitted to file a joint return;
  • $150,000 for an individual filing as a head of household; and
  • $100,000 for a single individual or a married individual filing a separate return.

Additionally, no person claimed as a dependent on another filer’s tax return will be sent a payment.

When will payments arrive?

The state plans to have delivered all payments by 31 March. The status of your payment can be tracked using a tool designed by the state. No applications need to be sent since the state will be using 2021 tax information to identify those who are eligible and to send the payments.

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