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June 1, 2022

Hitting Maine mailboxes soon: $850 relief checks

Courtesy / Pixabay Maine households are in line to receive $850 relief checks from the state's budget surplus.

Mainers, check your mail. The first batch of $850 relief checks will be sent starting tomorrow and arriving in mail boxes as early as next week.

The first 5,000 relief checks will be followed by an estimated 200,000 checks per week for the qualifying Maine people who have already filed their 2021 Maine tax returns.

Despite an initial concern about a shortage of envelopes, the state treasurer’s office said it has a sufficient number of envelopes that can be used to distribute the checks.

The relief program is expected to help an estimated 858,000 Maine people with the high costs of inflation. More than half of the state’s budget surplus, $729.3 million, will be returned to Maine people through $850 direct checks, with the average Maine family receiving $1,700 in relief.

“The budgets of so many hardworking Maine people have been stretched to the brink by inflation, and while we cannot control inflation or global markets, we can make sure that Maine people have what they need to grapple with these rising costs,” said Gov. Janet Mills. “I hope that this will provide at least a small measure of relief during these tough times.”

“Gov. Mills directed us to deliver $850 checks into the mailbox of every Maine adult who qualifies as quickly as possible, and we’ve worked around the clock to do just that,” said Kirsten Figueroa, commissioner for the Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

To be eligible to receive a check, Maine people must file a Maine individual income tax return as a full-time resident and not be claimed as a dependent on another’s tax return.

Eligible Mainers must have a federal adjusted gross income of less than $100,000 if filing single or if married and filing separately; $150,000 if filing as head of household; or $200,000 for couples filing jointly.

Mainers have until Oct. 31 to file their tax return and claim the $850 relief check.

People can check the status of their check here.

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