Bonus Stimulus Checks: Essential Workers in This State to Get Up to $1,000

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Federal stimulus checks may have dried up, but some states and counties are continuing to send stimulus benefits to targeted groups. The latest to do so is Maine, which will be sending bonus stimulus checks to residents in Augusta. Specifically, these bonus stimulus checks of up to $1,000 will go to front line workers.

Bonus Stimulus Checks To Essential Workers

Augusta, Maine will be sending bonus stimulus checks to the city employees who performed their duties during the pandemic. The city will use $163,000 of the $1 million it received from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which was signed into law by President Joe Biden last year.

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The amount of money that the eligible frontline workers will get would depend on the number of hours worked and the job category. For instance, most full-time city workers would get $500 in bonus stimulus checks, while part-time workers would qualify for $250.

If the work of the full-time frontline workers is in connection to public safety, custodial, dispatch, or garbage collection, then they would qualify for $500 more. Similarly, part-time employees with these job roles would qualify for $250 extra. This means some full-time workers would qualify for $1,000 bonus stimulus checks and part-time employees could get up to $500.

“Those employees were all more exposed on a long-term basis, in particular during the first couple months of COVID, when City Center and other offices were shut down,” City Manager Susan Robertson said. "I think they'd be the ones that should benefit the most from the recognition, and that's why this is broken out the way it is."

Employees who don’t qualify for the bonus stimulus checks will get one day of administrative leave, Robertson said. Augusta city councilors voted unanimously to use $163,000 in ARPA funds for handing out the bonus stimulus checks. City officials, however, haven’t yet decided on how to use the remaining ARPA funds.

Similar Plans From Other Maine Cities

Other cities are also using their ARPA funds to send bonus stimulus checks to employees. Gardiner, for example, is giving $1,000 to city employees and $2,000 to department heads. To send these stimulus checks, the city will be using around $70,000 of its about $600,000 in ARPA funding.

In December, Waterville city councilors approved using $150,000 in ARPA money to give bonuses to employees. The authorities approved sending $1,000 to full-time employees and $500 to part-time workers.

In Hallowell, the councilors haven’t yet decided on how they plan to use their $252,000 in ARPA funds. It must be noted that municipalities have until 2024 to decide on how they plan to use the ARPA funds.