California Stimulus Check Eligibility: Who Qualifies for $600 Payments

California is issuing $600 stimulus checks to 5.7 million Californians who qualify for the Golden State Stimulus payment to aid those suffering financial hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The payments are being issued either via direct deposit or as paper checks.

The California Franchise Tax Board (FTB) states: "You may receive this payment if you receive the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) or file with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)."

To qualify for CalEITC, you must have taxable earned income up to $30,000, not use "married/RDP [Registered Domestic Partner] filing separately" if married or RDP and meet all other qualifications, the FTB advises. See the CalEITC website for more information on other requirements.

ITIN taxpayers who also qualify for the California EITC will receive a total payment of $1,200, the governor's office said in a statement on February 17 announcing the Golden State Stimulus plan.

Others may also qualify for the stimulus check, such as those enrolled in the CalWORKS program and recipients of federal benefits. See below a full list of those who qualify for the Golden State Stimulus payment.

Those who qualify for California's $600 stimulus check

  • Those receiving a CalEITC (California Earned Income Tax Credit) for 2020
  • Households with individual Tax Identification Numbers (ITINs) and an income below $75,000
  • Households enrolled in the CalWORKS program
  • Recipients of Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP)
  • Recipients of aid through the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)

Eligibility requirements

To qualify for the Golden State Stimulus payment, you must meet the following requirements, as outlined by the FTB:

  • Have filed your 2020 taxes
  • Be either a CalEITC recipient or an ITIN filer who made $75,000 or less (total CA AGI)
  • Live in California for more than half of the 2020 tax year
  • Be a California resident on the date payment is issued
  • Not be eligible to be claimed as a dependent

The FTB advises: "You must include your ITIN on your tax return. Your ITIN cannot be pending. Wait to file your tax return until you have your ITIN. You are eligible for the GSS [Golden State Stimulus] if you file on or before October 15."

When will I receive payment?

Stimulus payments are issued twice a month and the payments will not be scheduled until your 2020 tax return has been processed, the FTB says.

The first payments were sent by the FTB on April 15 to those who filed their taxes by March 1. Those who filed their tax returns between March 2 and April 23 can expect to receive their stimulus payment after May 1.

Residents should allow up to two weeks for direct deposit payments and four to six weeks for paper checks.

Those who file their taxes after April 23, should allow up to 45 days after their return has been processed to receive direct deposit stimulus payments. Those receiving paper stimulus checks should allow up to 60 days after their tax return has been processed, according to the FTB.

"Some payments may need extra time to process for accuracy and completeness," the FTB notes.

Typically, you'll receive this payment using the refund option you selected on your tax return. If you received an advanced refund through your tax service provider, or paid your tax preparation fees using your refund, you'll receive your payment by check in the mail.

See the FTB website for more information on California's stimulus payments.

Stimulus checks Philadelphia printing 2008
Economic stimulus checks being prepared for printing at the Philadelphia Financial Center on May 8, 2008 in Pennsylvania. California is issuing $600 stimulus checks to 5.7 million Californians who qualify for the payment. Jeff Fusco/Getty Images