By Bob Katzen

The Baker Administration announced that 300,000 low-income workers will each receive $500 under the second round of the COVID-19 Essential Employee Premium Pay Program that was part of the American Rescue Plan Act approved by the Legislature in December 2021. The administration was given the power and flexibility to implement the program and announced last week that these round two checks will be mailed out soon.

Massachusetts residents will be eligible for the $500 if their 2021 income from employment was at least $13,500—and their total income put them below 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Individuals who received a round one payment through this program or received unemployment compensation in 2021 will not be eligible for this second round of payments, nor will commonwealth executive branch employees who received or will receive a one-time COVID-related payment from the state as their employer.

For more information about eligibility and other details, go to https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-employee-premium-pay-program#eligibility-parameters – or call (866) 750-9803 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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