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Who gets the CA 600 stimulus?

The state of California recently approved a $600 stimulus payment to eligible residents to help offset rising costs of living. Known as the Middle Class Tax Refund, this payment aims to assist lower and middle income Californians. But who exactly qualifies for the CA 600 stimulus?

What is the CA 600 stimulus?

The CA 600 stimulus is a one-time payment of $600 per eligible taxpayer and dependent. It was approved as part of California’s 2022-23 budget surplus. The goal is to help residents cope with increasing inflation and high gas prices.

The payments will start going out as direct deposits or debit cards in October 2022. The vast majority of payments should be issued by January 2023. An estimated 23 million California residents are expected to benefit from the CA 600 stimulus.

Who qualifies for the CA 600 stimulus?

To qualify for the CA 600 stimulus payment, you must:

  • Have filed your 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021
  • Meet the California adjusted gross income (CA AGI) limits for 2020:
    • $0 to $250,000 for single filers
    • $0 to $500,000 for joint filers
  • Be a California resident for at least 6 months in 2020
  • Be a California resident on the date the payment is issued
  • Not be eligible to be claimed as a dependent in the 2020 tax year
  • Still live in California

Those who meet the income requirements but don’t normally file taxes can still qualify. They simply need to file a 2020 return by October 15, 2022.

Do dependents get the CA 600 stimulus?

Yes, taxpayers can qualify for an additional $600 stimulus payment for each dependent claimed on their 2020 tax return, as follows:

  • $1,200 for married couples filing jointly with one dependent
  • $1,800 for married couples filing jointly with two dependents

Single filers can qualify for:

  • $1,200 for one dependent

Dependents may include:

  • Children under age 18
  • Children ages 18-24 who are full-time students
  • Adult dependents, like an elderly parent or disabled adult child

Who does NOT qualify for the CA 600 stimulus?

You will not receive the CA 600 stimulus payment if any of the following apply:

  • Your CA AGI exceeds $250,000 if you file singly or $500,000 if filing jointly
  • You can be claimed as a dependent by another taxpayer
  • You did not file a 2020 tax return by October 15, 2021
  • You did not file a 2020 tax return by October 15, 2022 (for non-filers)
  • Your primary residence is not in California

Sadly, many vulnerable groups will miss out on the payments simply because they don’t file taxes. This includes low income seniors and people experiencing homelessness.

How much is the CA 600 stimulus?

Stimulus payment amounts depend on your tax filing status and number of dependents. Here is a breakdown:

Filing status No dependents 1 dependent 2 dependents
Single $600 $1,200 Not applicable
Head of household $600 $1,200 $1,800
Married filing jointly $1,200 $1,800 $2,400

As you can see, a married couple with 2 dependents would receive the maximum payment of $2,400.

How will I receive the CA 600 payment?

Most people who qualify will receive their CA 600 stimulus payment by direct deposit into the bank account used on their 2020 tax return. Some payments may come as debit cards.

Direct deposits will have the description “CAMiddleClassTaxRefund” or “State of CA CMTF”. Debit cards will arrive in a plain white envelope with the return address “Oakland CA”.

When will CA 600 payments go out?

The first batch of CA 600 stimulus payments will go out starting in October 2022. The vast majority of payments should be issued by January 2023.

Here is an estimated timeline for when you may receive your payment:

  • October 2022: Direct deposits sent out
  • October 25, 2022: First batch of debit cards sent
  • November 1 to January 14, 2023: Remaining direct deposits and debit cards issued
  • January 15, 2023: Final payment date

What if I’m on SSI/SSP or cash assistance?

Most people who receive Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payments (SSI/SSP) or cash assistance through California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) will qualify for the stimulus payment.

You don’t need to take any action. The payments will be issued automatically in the same method you receive your usual benefit payments.

  • SSI/SSP recipients: Benefits will be paid in late October and early November 2022
  • CalWORKS recipients: Benefits will be paid in mid-November 2022

What if I don’t file taxes?

Low income Californians who don’t normally file tax returns can still qualify. You simply need to file a 2020 tax return by October 15, 2022.

You can fill out a simplified tax return online through the California Franchise Tax Board. This will allow you to claim your $600 stimulus payment.

Do I need to take action to get my payment?

For most people who filed 2020 tax returns, no action is needed to receive your CA 600 stimulus. You’ll automatically get a payment if you meet the requirements.

Some things you may need to do:

  • Confirm your address is up to date with the California Franchise Tax Board
  • Make sure your bank account on file is still valid if you want direct deposit
  • File a 2020 tax return by October 15, 2022 if you don’t normally submit returns

What if I never get my CA 600 payment?

If you qualify for the stimulus but never receive your payment, you may need to file a claim.

First, allow plenty of time for your payment to arrive. The deadline is January 15, 2023.

If your payment doesn’t come by the deadline, you can contact the California Franchise Tax Board. They can investigate why you didn’t get the stimulus funds.

Do I have to pay taxes on the CA 600 payment?

No, you do not need to pay federal or California state income taxes on the $600 stimulus payments.

The payments are not considered taxable income. So you don’t need to report the funds on your 2022 or 2023 tax returns.

Can the CA 600 payment be garnished?

No, California protected the stimulus payments from bank garnishment or seizure. This helps ensure recipients get the full $600 benefit.

However, private debt collectors could potentially try to use the funds to repay overdue debts. This includes unpaid credit card bills, medical debts, personal loans, etc.

Do immigrants and seniors get the CA 600 stimulus?

To qualify for the stimulus payment, you must have a Social Security number (SSN) and file California taxes. So most undocumented immigrants will not receive the CA 600 payment.

Seniors are generally eligible, provided they meet the adjusted gross income limits and other requirements. However, some low income seniors may miss out because they don’t file tax returns.

Who is excluded from the CA 600 stimulus?

The main groups excluded are:

  • Individuals earning over $250,000 per year (or $500,000 for couples)
  • Those who can be claimed as dependents
  • People without a SSN, including undocumented immigrants
  • Residents who don’t spend at least 6 months of the year in California
  • Incarcerated individuals
  • Most people experiencing homelessness

Unfortunately, millions of vulnerable Californians won’t receive any help. Critics argue the state should have expanded eligibility.

Could more payments be approved in the future?

This one-time $600 payment will provide some temporary relief. But many argue it’s not enough given how high inflation remains.

Some legislators have proposed additional stimulus checks. However, Governor Newsom has not indicated if he would support further payments.

Any future stimulus payments would need to pass the California legislature. Some options that have been suggested include:

  • Recurring stimulus checks while pandemic persists
  • Additional inflation relief checks in 2023
  • Ongoing universal basic income checks

For now, the state is focused on issuing this initial $600 payment. We’ll have to wait and see if more direct financial help arrives down the road.


The CA 600 stimulus aims to help offset rising prices for millions of Californians. To receive a payment, you must meet income limits and other eligibility requirements.

Most people just need to sit back and wait for their payment to arrive either by direct deposit or debit card. But some groups, like non-filers, should take action to claim their stimulus funds.

With payments going out between October 2022 and January 2023, help is on the way soon. This $600 may provide a sorely needed boost to households feeling the strain of high inflation and gas prices.