Thousands of Florida families are getting one-time checks of $450 per child, helping them to “offset the costs of rising inflation” before the new school year begins, state officials say. Nearly 59,000 households will benefit from the payments, according to a statement from the state governor’s office. Those eligible include foster parents, relative and non-relative caregivers, families receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families cash help, and participants in the state’s Guardian Assistance Program, WJXT reported. The payment program will be administered by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
Christina Pushaw, a spokeswoman for Ron DeSantis, the state’s Republican governor, said on Twitter
that the payments were part of the governor’s new budget. Pushaw also posted a photo of a July 15 letter to Twitter that informed parents of the checks, stating they could be “used for anything from buying diapers to fueling up at the pump.” The letter was signed by DeSantis. “Florida families: These letters are real,” Pushaw said.
There are certainly families that could use the extra cash. With inflation at its highest point in four decades, Americans are struggling to pay for basic necessities — contributing to President Joe Biden’s low approval rating. As a result, Florida is among the several states that have considered sending direct relief to their residents to help cushion inflation’s blow. Millions of Californians are set to receive checks of up to $1,050, for example, while Maine planned to give an estimated 858,000 people $850 checks due to the state’s budget surplus. Florida’s payments, however, are largely thanks to the federal American Rescue Plan, the Tallahassee Democrat reported, since that bill included more funding for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. *** “The American Rescue Plan Act created a $1 billion fund to assist needy families affected by the pandemic within the TANF program,” Laura Walthall, a spokesperson for the Florida Department of Children and Families, told MarketWatch in a statement. “The one-time payments ensured that $35.5 million would be received by Florida families. Had these awards not been made, the funding would have otherwise reverted back to the federal government.”The checks have already been mailed to eligible recipients and should arrive within the next week., Walthall said. ***