$500 bonus payments on their way to 500,000 low-income essential workers in the Mass. – NBC Boston

About half a million people in Massachusetts will receive a $500 check next week as the Baker administration plans to scrap the first round of mail-in bonus payments for low-income taxpayers.

The bounty program was included in the $4 billion spending bill passed by the Legislature last year, allocating state surplus and funds from the American Rescue Plan Act.

The payments were first announced last month.

Massachusetts announced a plan to provide $500 to 500,000 low-income workers.

The legislation included a $460 million bonus program for low-income residents who worked throughout the pandemic. The Baker administration designed the program to benefit anyone who earned at least $12,750 in 2020, equivalent to 20 hours a week for 50 weeks at minimum wage, and whose income was less than 300% the federal poverty line.

Anyone who received unemployment benefits in 2020 is ineligible for the program, as are state executive employees who are eligible for a bonus from another pool.

The first round of checks will deplete approximately $250 million from the bounty pool, with a second round of checks expected after tax filing season based on 2021 filings.

Julio V. Miller