AUGUSTA — More than 500,000 working people in Maine will soon receive a one-time disaster relief payment of $285.

Gov. Janet Mills announced Wednesday that the checks will be issued from Nov. 15 through the end of the year.

The relief payments were part of a budget deal enacted by the Maine Legislature and signed by the governor and are intended as a reward for people who continued to show up to work last year as the COVID-10 pandemic was spreading and there were no vaccines to provide protection.

“The hardworking men and women who kept our state running through the pandemic deserve our appreciation,” Gov. Mills said in a written statement Nov. 10. “I hope this will help Maine families to some small degree during the holiday season as we work to fully recover our economy.”

Payments will be issued automatically to those eligible beginning Monday — with between 5,000 and 25,000 checks issued most days over a period of six weeks. Payments will be sent through the U.S. Postal Service no later than Dec. 31, according to the administration. No application is required.

Based on the legislation, the Maine Tax Assessor’s Office used tax filings for the 2020 tax year to identify eligible workers. Individuals must have lived full-time in Maine and earned wages, salaries, tips, or other taxable employee pay within the 2020 tax year, and reported that income on a individual Maine tax return by Oct. 31. Eligible recipients also must have had adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 — or less than $150,000 if filing jointly. Those claimed as a dependent on another taxpayer’s return for the 2020 tax year were not eligible.

The assessor divided the allocated funding of $149.8 million by the 524,754 eligible individuals to come up with a payment amount of $285.46. The number of eligible individuals could change as records are re-verified in batches as payments are issued, so the payment amount was rounded to an even $285 to ensure enough funding to provide payments to up to 860 additional eligible individuals, the state said.

More details are available at Maine.gov/revenue/check. Those with questions about Disaster Relief Payments can contact Maine Revenue Services at 624-9924.