Gov. Janet Mills’ administration has set up a website to answer questions about $850 relief checks that will be sent to many Mainers this year.

The checks are part of a $1.2 billion supplemental state budget that was approved by lawmakers and signed by Mills this week.

The site,, is similar to one Mills’ office set up after she and legislators agreed to send out $285 relief checks to most Mainers last November.

The first set of checks was intended as a “thank you” to Mainers who continued to work during the initial stages of the pandemic, Mills said at the time. The checks to be sent out this year are the result of a state budget surplus, and Mills and lawmakers said they hope it will help Mainers who are coping with rising costs due to inflation.

The program has upper income limits: Those who file their 2021 taxes individually or are married and file separately are eligible if they made less than $100,000. Those filing as head of household must have earned less than $150,000, while married couples filing jointly needed to earn a total of less than $200,000 in 2021 to be eligible.

Changes in other eligibility rules mean more people will be getting this year’s relief checks, the site explains.


A previous requirement that each recipient earn a wage is not included in this year’s relief program. The website says that means about 333,000 more Mainers will qualify for the latest round of checks than did for last year’s. Nearly 860,000 Mainers are expected to be eligible for payments this year, Mills’ office said.

For instance, older Mainers who are relying on Social Security and/or retirement income are eligible for checks this year, unlike for the 2021 payments. Also, the self-employed and business owners whose corporate structure requires reporting business earnings instead of employee income on tax returns are also eligible this year, as are both people who file a joint tax return.

The questions and answers on the website reflect inquiries the administration has fielded from lawmakers, the press and others, said Kelsey Goldsmith, spokeswoman for the state Department Of Administrative and Financial Services.

Among the questions are: When will checks be mailed? (The first round will be sent in June.) How can the money be used? (Any way the recipient wishes.) And how will the relief funds be sent? (Checks will be delivered by mail.)

Goldsmith said the site will be updated if officials receive other questions about the program.

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