ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Comptroller Peter Franchot says 98% of RELIEF Act checks will be processed by Friday, Feb. 19.

Gov. Larry Hogan signed the RELIEF Act of 2021 into law Monday. A day later, Franchot said his office will issue more than $200 million in payments over the next several weeks — helping struggling Marylanders, small businesses and nonprofits.

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“For 14 years during my tenure as Comptroller, our team has annually processed three million tax returns in an average of 2.5 business days and we will process these stimulus payments with the same outstanding level of customer service and efficiency that Maryland taxpayers have come to know and deserve from our office,” Comptroller Franchot said. “Our agency has spent several weeks diligently preparing for the passage of the RELIEF Act and this morning, the first batch of state stimulus payments for our most vulnerable Marylanders are on their way to bank accounts.”

Taxpayers can go to to see if they qualify and check the status of their payments. They can also call 1-833-345-0787 or email for more assistance.

The RELIEF Act also includes waiving state income taxes on Unemployment Insurance income received during 2020 and 2021 for single filers who report under $75,000 in income and joint filers who report under $100,000. Taxpayers who have already filed their 2020 State tax returns can file an amended return for a full refund of Maryland state income taxes on those UI benefits.

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Some 32,000 Marylanders awaiting unemployment insurance adjudication will be sent $1,000 grants as well.

“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,” Comptroller Franchot said.

Additional money was also set aside for various small businesses and community support organizations. Those funds will be disbursed from state agencies to grant and loan awardees.

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Electronic payments will be made via bank account information on file from the recipient’s 2019 Maryland State Income Tax Return. Recipients who will receive the paper checks via mail can contact the Comptroller’s Office to update their unverified mailing address on file. There are approximately 6,000 recipients, or 1.5 percent of those eligible, for whom the agency does not have verified address information. Those individuals were previously contacted and asked to call 1-833-345-0787 or email to provide updated information so the payments can be issued.

Rachel Menitoff