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First round of $450 relief checks are in the mail, Gov. Mills says

The vast majority of qualifying Mainers are expected to receive their payment by the end of March.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Janet Mills announced Monday that the first round of $450 winter energy relief payments have been mailed to eligible Maine taxpayers. 

In a release, the governor said Maine Revenue Services, a division of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services (DAFS), would mail the first 5,000 relief checks Monday via the U.S. Postal Service.

The first round of payments is expected to arrive in mailboxes later this week. Maine Revenue Services then plans to continue issuing an estimated 200,000 checks per week beginning next week, with the vast majority of qualifying Mainers expected to receive their payment by the end of March.

The $450 one-time payments are intended to help keep Maine people warm, safe, and secure this winter amid near-record high energy costs, according to the governor's office.

There is nothing that an individual needs to do to claim their $450 payment.  According to the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, the qualifications are based on Maine 2021 income tax returns. If you filed as an individual and made less than $100,000 that year, filed as a head of a household and made less than $150,000, or filed as a married couple and made less than $200,000, you qualify for these payments.

If you are claimed as a dependent on another person's tax return, you are not eligible for the payment.

The payments are part of a package approved by the Maine Legislature in January that called for nearly $400 million to be used to provide $450 payments to an estimated 880,000 residents. It provides an additional $40 million to bolster the federal heating assistance program that’s administered through community action partnerships.

It also includes $10 million for emergency fuel assistance and $21 million to bolster an emergency relief housing fund to help people experiencing homelessness.

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