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California Inflation Relief Payments: When Will I Get My Check?

California map with money
Inflation relief payments to eligible California taxpayers started going out on Oct. 7.
Getty Images

What's happening

California residents have started receiving onetime "Middle Class Tax Refund" payments.

Why it matters

Eligible taxpayers will receive between $200 and $1,050, either through direct deposit or debit cards.

Inflation-relief payments started going out to California taxpayers this month. The Middle Class Tax Refund, as it's being billed, can be for as much as $1,050, depending on your income, residency, filing status and household size.

The payout is part of Gov. Gavin Newsom's $12 billion relief effort, which he said "prioritizes getting dollars back into the pockets of millions of Californians grappling with global inflation and rising prices." 

As of Oct. 20, nearly 3.5 million Californians already received their payments through direct deposit, according to the Franchise Tax Board.

Here's what you need to know about California's inflation relief checks, including who's eligible, how much they can get and how payments are being distributed. 

For more on tax relief, find out which other states are issuing tax refunds and pausing their gas tax.

Who qualifies for an inflation relief payment?

Roughly 23 million California residents are eligible for the rebate plan, which has been set up in three tiers based on the adjusted gross income on your 2020 California state tax return. Residents who filed individually and made $250,000 or less or couples who filed jointly and made $500,000 or less qualify for a refund.

In addition to income requirements, though, residents must have filed their 2020 tax refund by Oct. 15, 2021. You must have lived in the state of California for at least half of the 2020 tax year and still be a California resident on the date the payment is issued.

Individual filers who earned over $250,000 and couples who made more than $500,000 combined in 2020 aren't eligible, nor is anyone claimed as a dependent by someone else in the 2020 tax year. 

How much will my check be for?

  • Single taxpayers who earned less than $75,000 and couples who filed jointly and made less than $150,000 will receive $350 per taxpayer and another flat $350 if they have any dependents. A married couple with children, therefore, could receive as much as $1,050. This is the largest bracket, KCRA reported, representing more than 80% of beneficiaries.

  • Individual filers who made between $75,000 and $125,000 -- and couples who earned between $150,000 and $250,000 -- will receive $250 per taxpayer, plus another $250 if they have any dependents. A family with any children could receive $750.

  • Individual filers who earned between $125,000 and $250,000 and couples who earned between $250,000 and $500,000 would receive $200 each. A family with children in this bracket could receive a maximum of $600.

How much of a tax rebate can I expect?

For married couples filing jointly
Adjusted gross income on your 2020 tax return Payment with dependent Payment without dependent
$150,000 or less $1,050 $700
$150,001 to $250,000 $750 $500
$250,001 to $500,000 $600 $400
$500,001 or more Not eligible Not eligible
For a head of household or qualifying widow(er)
Adjusted gross income on your 2020 tax return Payment with dependent Payment without dependent
$150,000 or less $700 $350
$150,001 to $250,000 $500 $250
$250,001 to $500,000 $400 $200
$500,001 or more Not eligible Not eligible
If you're filing individually
Adjusted gross income on your 2020 tax return Payment with dependent Payment without dependent
$75,000 or less $700 $350
$75,001 to $125,000 $500 $250
$125,001 to $250,000 $400 $200
$250,001 or more Not eligible Not eligible

You can estimate your refund using the Franchise Tax Board website calculator.

When will I receive my tax rebate?

Payments started going out Oct. 7, with the final ones expected to be issued by Jan. 15, 2023, according to the Franchise Tax Board

Californians who received money from either round of Golden State Stimulus payments were the first to receive direct deposits, which should arrive before Oct. 25. The remainder of direct deposits will be issued between Oct. 28 and Nov. 14.

If you didn't set up direct deposit, your payment will be mailed out in a Money Network debit card, starting Oct. 25.  

What if I didn't file a 2020 California tax return?

Most Californians who didn't file a complete 2020 tax return by Oct. 15, 2021, aren't eligible for the rebate. (The exception is for those who applied for an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, and had not received it by Oct 15, 2021.)

In addition to the tax rebate, the state is increasing funding for several social programs, including the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment, which assists more than 1 million seniors and disabled people. SSI/SSP benefits will increase by about $39 per month for individuals and by $100 per month for couples.

There are also increases to California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids, aka CalWORKS grants, which provide money and services to eligible families with children.