It is hardly surprising that inflation has been wreaking havoc on consumers since late 2021. However, inflation has soared to record highs in recent months, putting many Americans in a financial pickle. Everything costs more these days, from groceries to gas to clothing – and these are expenses that are difficult to cut.
Meanwhile, many people live paycheck to paycheck, with no emergency savings. Thus, when living costs begin to rise rapidly, it is possible for people without savings to fall behind on their bills.
You’d think that, in light of rampant inflation, lawmakers would be taking steps to assist Americans in coping with rising living costs. However, this does not appear to be the case at the federal level.
At one point, lawmakers did propose a gas-specific stimulus to assist consumers in coping with higher gas prices. However, that notion has not been abandoned.
While the federal government has no immediate plans to issue another round of stimulus checks, some states are acting independently. Maine is one of those states. And, in the not-too-distant future, residents of the Pine Tree State could be in line for a very beneficial windfall.
A payday of $850 is awaiting you.
Maine lawmakers recently approved a budget that includes relief checks for state residents. And soon, an estimated 858,000 residents will be eligible for a $850 stimulus check to help with the rising cost of daily living expenses such as gas, food, and utilities.
Maine is able to pursue this idea because it has a budget surplus. Rather than investing the money at the state level in things like schools and infrastructure, the state is instead giving it to residents to spend however they wish.
Who is eligible for assistance?
As was the case with the previous round of federal stimulus checks, Maine’s new initiative is subject to income requirements. Residents cannot earn more than:
- If you are single or married and filing separately, you may deduct $100,000.
- if filing as head of household, $150,000
- $200,000 if married and jointly filing
Additionally, residents who qualify for a $850 payment cannot be claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return. Additionally, these payments are available only to full-time residents of the state. The state will use tax return information to determine who will receive payment and who will not.
Those who qualify for a payday should anticipate receiving their funds in June 2022. Following that, the state will distribute additional checks on a rolling basis as state tax returns are received (residents have until October 31 to send those in).
The purpose of this assistance is to assist residents in paying their bills and stabilizing their finances during a period of high inflation. Last year’s massive federal stimulus package benefited Americans nationwide. Maine’s $850 checks, on the other hand, should have a similar effect, albeit on a more local level.