North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood recently released a summary of an adult to determine whether the Office of State Budget and Management (OSBM) accounted for, allocated, and disbursed amounts appropriated to the state’s Coronavirus Relief Fund. According to the report, North Carolina received $3.6 billion in federal assistance which was then intended to be disbursed to various entities across the state.
OSBM reported that as of December 31, 2020, 94 percent of the funding had been allocated to:
• Disbursed $307.8 million to local governments.
• Disbursed $1.6 billion to state agencies.
• Disbursed $93.5 million to hospitals.
• Disbursed $508.1 million to offset state general fund expenditures.
• Disbursed $521.5 million to public schools and higher education.
• Disbursed $329.3 million to nonprofits.
The remaining 6 percent has either been sent back to the federal government or is still sitting unused in the state’s budget.
A large portion of the unused funds sits in a packet of money called the Extra Credit Grant, a lesser-known free child credit available to parents across North Carolina.
North Carolina leaders allocated more than $400 million for the program, but according to the state report, $62.6 million is still in the state’s budget unclaimed and is earmarked to be sent back to the federal reserve.
The Extra Credit Grant program was established by law in 2020 and was signed into law on February 10, 2021, to use funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help families with qualifying children in North Carolina by providing economic support to assist with virtual schooling and child-care costs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the second time since the Extra Credit Grant Program was established, the deadline has been extended to allow families in North Carolina additional time to apply for the funds. The new law has been extended through May 31, 2021 and only applies to eligible individuals who have not yet received the $335 grant. If you have already received the $335 grant, you are not eligible under the new law.
Who is Eligible?
North Carolina families with qualifying children who were 16 or younger at the end of 2019 who did not already receive the $335 check from the NC Department of Revenue.
Qualifying individuals who were not required to file a 2019 state tax return and have not already received the $335 grant.
Eligible individuals who filed a 2019 state tax and did not receive the $335 grant payments.
Checks will be mailed to most qualifying Extra Credit Grant recipients 2-4 weeks after the application is submitted. Anyone who does not qualify will receive a letter from the Department.
Extra Credit Grant checks re-validated because of updated mailing addresses may be cashed at any financial institution or businesses that allow check cashing. While checks list the State Treasurer on them, the Department of State Treasurer cannot cash or assist with the checks.
To learn more about the Extra Credit Grant and how to apply, click here.
To apply, click here.
Checks will be mailed beginning in mid-to-late April to qualifying Extra Credit Grant recipients.