State still searching for 150,000 residents eligible for $300 relief rebate
Around 650,000 Delawareans have received their relief rebate checks from the state.
The first round of checks went out in May to Delawareans who filed a state tax return in 2020 or 2021.
But as many as 150,000 people are still waiting for their rebates to come.
“We estimate that the maximum amount left might be 150,000, I think that's the high end," said Finance Secretary Rick Geisenberger. "Because, remember, you had to be a Delaware resident on December 31 2021. So you have people who filed returns, or maybe didn't file returns, who will not be able to demonstrate they were residents at that time. So people who moved in the middle of the year, things like that.”
The Department of Finance is now hunting for the next round of people, who may have been exempt from filing due to income level, pension, Social Security, or 1099 income.
“We are working with numerous other state agencies. DMV, Department of Health and Social Services, Department of Correction and others, to identify other people in this state where we have social security number information, and cross reference that against people we've already sent checks to," Geisenberger said. "And using those databases, we will send out more checks between now and the middle of October. And my hope is that we may get out another 50 to 100,000 additional checks using those methods.”
Geisenberger suggests anyone who has not received a check go to de.gov/rebate to find out if theirs has been mailed, and if not, to review the current criteria for residents receiving the second round of rebates.
Geisenberger notes people who do not meet the criteria for this round of checks will not receive one earlier than October when the state opens an application process for people who have not received one.
“They'll have to prove they were a Delaware resident," Geisenberger said. "Obviously if we get 300,000 applications, we're going to know we have some fraud. If we get a few 1000s That probably means we've captured everybody in the state.”
Lawmakers approved a one-time payment of $300 per adult resident in April to help people deal with rising costs of gas and groceries. In total, the state is returning about $240 million to Delawareans.