California's $600 Stimulus Checks: When Does the Money Arrive?

California's Golden State Stimulus checks are being sent out, but it could be more than a month before some people see a payment, even if they qualify.

Governor Gavin Newsom enacted the measure in February, and the California Franchise Tax Board is sending payments to eligible recipients on a rolling basis. The stimulus plan requires people to file their 2020 tax return, even if they normally don't have to file, and the sooner they file their taxes the sooner they'll receive their payment.

Those who filed their tax return before April 23 may have already received their payment. If not, they'll likely see a direct deposit by May 14 or a paper check by June 11, because the California Franchise Tax Board says it can take two weeks for direct deposit and up to six weeks for mailing.

As of May 6, the California Franchise Tax Board had sent out 2.5 million payments worth $1.6 billion. All of the payments sent out by May 6 were to those taxpayers who filed their returns before April 23.

"We passed the recovery package to get money into the pockets of Californians who were hit hardest by this pandemic, and that's exactly what the Golden State Stimulus is doing—already getting $1.6 billion to 2.5 million Californians," Newsom said in a statement.

Those who filed their tax return after April 23, or have yet to file, might have to wait up to 45 days after their return is processed to receive a direct deposit and up to 60 days for a paper check. Typically, payments are being sent out through the refund option selected on the tax return.

calfiornia stimulus checks when money arrive
California's stimulus checks are being sent out on a rolling basis, and people who haven't filed their tax returns might have to wait up to 60 days to receive a payment. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

To be eligible for a payment, taxpayers must either claim the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) on their return, meaning they earn under $30,000, or file their taxes with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).

Those who claim the CalEITC or file with an ITIN will receive $600, while those who are both a CalEITC recipient and file with an ITIN will get $1,200.

Meanwhile, it's possible Californians could receive even more money. On Monday, Newsom announced his proposal for a new state budget. With an expected surplus of more than $70 billion, he is looking to expand the Golden State Stimulus to California's middle class, meaning those earning under $75,000. He also wants to increase payments to include an additional $500 for people with children.

The Legislature still has to approve Newsom's proposal, but if it does, about 80 percent of taxpayers would receive a payment, and about two-thirds of Californians overall, the governor said. Taxpayers included in the expanded plan would still have to file their 2020 taxes to receive a payment, but it's unclear when those payments could go out because they depend on Newsom's proposal passing the state Assembly and Senate.