Franchot: 98% of RELIEF Act Stimulus Payments Will be Processed by Friday 

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot. Via Maryland State Archives.

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said 98% of stimulus payments to individuals, issued under the RELIEF Act of 2021, will be processed by Friday, Feb. 19.

On Monday, Gov. Larry Hogan signed the Recovery for the Economy, Livelihoods, Industries, Entrepreneurs and Families (RELIEF) Act, which will provide about 400,000 eligible recipients with direct stimulus payments, among other relief measures for residents and businesses. Maryland taxpayers who claimed and received the Earned Income Tax Credit in tax year 2019 will receive the payment, Franchot explained in a video Tuesday. Payments of $500 and $300 will go out to families and individuals, respectively, who filed for the EITC. Annual income qualifications for the stimulus are as follows:

  • $50,954 individual or $56,844 married filing jointly (three or more qualifying children)
  • $47,440 individual or $53,330 jointly (two children)
  • $41,756 individual or $47,646 jointly (one child)
  • $15,820 individual or $21,710 jointly (no children)

Franchot said 422,531 recipients are eligible for the stimulus; 266,985 electronic payments to individuals and 148,972 paper checks began processing Tuesday, according to a statement from the Comptroller’s Office. There is no application for the stimulus; it will be sent electronically through direct deposit or via check if necessary. If a resident’s bank information has changed since filing, Franchot said the state will be notified and the check will be mailed to the address on the resident’s 2019 tax return. The state has a stimulus portal that residents can use to check their eligibility or payment status.

According to an FAQ page from the Comptroller’s Office, if the office does not have a resident’s valid bank account information or a valid mailing address verified by USPS, the portal will indicate that and the resident must contact the Comptroller’s Office to update their address to receive a physical check.

Franchot said an additional 32,000 Marylanders “awaiting unemployment insurance adjudication will be sent $1,000 grants once the state Department of Labor sends the Comptroller’s Office a list of recipients.”

Marylanders with specific questions should email RELIEFact@marylandtaxes.gov, or call 1-833-345-0787.

“I know how important these payments are for people right now. And I promise you that the Maryland Comptroller’s Office will process these payments as fast as we can to ensure this money gets into the hands of the people who need it the most,” Franchot said in his video.

In a statement Tuesday, the comptroller said, “While the amount of these payments is not nearly as much as I urged the Governor to include and leaves out tens of thousands of Marylanders, I commend the General Assembly for improving the bill and pledging to adopt separate legislation that will make eligible for stimulus funds those who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or ITIN, to file taxes.”

Franchot has advocated for $2,000 stimulus payments for struggling Marylanders.

“The wealthiest state in the wealthiest country in the history of the world can and must do better than sending out pennies on the dollars that they’ve paid in taxes, and approving a handful of tax credits for small businesses that will do nothing to impact their immediate well-being,” Franchot said in a Jan. 29 statement.

“They needed immediate relief months ago. This is long overdue. We can and should put $2,000 in the pockets of low-income families and direct more grants to hard-hit small businesses.”

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Maryam Shahzad

About Maryam Shahzad

Maryam is a reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. Previously, she was an intern with MCM. She can be reached at mshahzad@mymcmedia.org or on Twitter @maryam_mcm.

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