It’s no secret that since the second half of 2021, inflation has been wreaking havoc on consumers. However, inflation has skyrocketed to new highs in recent months, leaving many Americans in a tight financial situation. Everything these days costs more, from groceries to gas to clothing, and these are expenses that are difficult to cut.
On the other hand, many folks live paycheck to paycheck with no savings to fall back on. As a result, when living costs begin to rise significantly, it can quickly lead to debt, causing people without savings to fall behind on their bills.
You’d think that, given the high inflation rate, policymakers would be making efforts to help Americans cope with growing living costs. However, this does not appear to be the case at the federal level.
At one point, legislators proposed a gas-specific stimulus to help consumers cope with rising gas prices. However, that concept hasn’t gained traction.
While the federal government has no plans to issue another round of stimulus checks anytime soon, some states are acting independently. One of them is in Maine. Residents of the Pine Tree State may be in line for a very generous windfall shortly.
A payday of $850 is on the way.
Maine lawmakers recently adopted a budget that includes relief checks for state citizens. And shortly, an estimated 858,000 residents will be eligible for an $850 stimulus check to help with growing living costs, such as gas, food, and electricity.
Maine was able to move forward with this concept since it possessed a budget surplus. Rather than spending the money on areas like schools and infrastructure at the state level, the state is giving it to residents to pay as they see fit.
Who is eligible for assistance?
Like the previous batch of federal stimulus cheques, Maine’s new program is accompanied by income requirements. Residents cannot earn more than the following to be eligible for an $850 payday:
- If you’re single or married and filing separately, you can claim $100,000.
- If you’re filing as a head of household, you’ll have to pay $150,000.
- If you’re married and filing jointly, you can save $200,000 on your taxes.
Residents cannot be claimed as dependent on another person’s tax return to be eligible for an $850 payment. Furthermore, these benefits are only available to full-time residents of the state. The state will use data from tax returns to determine who will be paid and who will not.
Those eligible for a payday should expect to get their funds around June 2022. As state tax returns are received, the state will send out further checks rolling (residents have until October 31 to send those in).
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The purpose of providing this assistance is to assist residents in paying their expenses and stabilizing their finances while inflation stays high. Last year’s enormous federal stimulus package did wonders for Americans across the country. Hopefully, Maine’s $850 checks should achieve a similar consequence, albeit on a more local basis.