Some Chicago Residents Can Now Apply for $500 Monthly Payments for a Year

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  • Low-income residents in Chicago may be eligible to apply for a guaranteed income pilot program.
  • Participants will receive $500 monthly payments for a year.
  • Applications are open through May 13, 2022.

Chicago residents impacted by COVID-19 can now apply for financial assistance.

Guaranteed income programs are on the rise. Many states and cities are creating guaranteed income pilot programs to help their residents. The city of Chicago is now accepting applications for a 12-month cash assistance program that will pay participants $500 per month.

The city hopes to combat poverty and help residents recover from financial struggles due to the pandemic. Find out more about this program:

Poverty is a bigger problem than most of us realize. Every day, people all over the country struggle to pay for basic needs. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 37.2 million people lived in poverty in 2020, and the official poverty rate was 11.4%.

The good news is some state and city leaders want to change that, and are finding ways to help their most vulnerable residents through guaranteed income pilots and stimulus money programs. Chicago is one U.S. city testing out its own guaranteed income program.

Introducing the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot program

A whopping 17% of all Chicagoans live in poverty. The Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot hopes to lessen the economic hardships that low-income households face. The program is targeted at low-income residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants will receive $500 per month for 12 months with no strings attached. They can receive their monthly payments by bank transfer or on a prepaid reloadable credit card.

The monthly payments will not need to be claimed as income because the funding qualifies as a tax-exempt charitable gift under IRS rules.

Applications are open through May 13

The city opened up applications for the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot on April 25, 2022. Eligible city residents can apply through May 13, 2022.

Only one application per household will be accepted.

If you meet ALL of the following criteria, you're eligible to apply for $500 monthly checks:

  • You reside in the city of Chicago
  • You are 18 or older
  • You have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19
  • Your household income falls at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level

Those interested can review the eligibility criteria and application.

The application should take 20 to 30 minutes to complete and is available in multiple languages.

What income level qualifies?

This program is designed to help low-income households. You must meet the income requirements and provide documentation and proof of income.

Are you wondering if you qualify? Based on the federal poverty level guidelines, a family of two is eligible to apply if their household income is at or below $45,775.

The application website breaks down income eligibility requirements by household size.

5,000 applicants will be selected

Not all applicants will be selected to take part in the program. The city has funding to assist 5,000 households.

A lottery will be held to select participants. All applicants will be notified of their application status by the end of May.

If you meet the eligibility requirements, you should apply. You may be able to get the financial assistance that you need.

Hopefully, these kinds of programs will continue to take off. When individuals and families have fewer financial stresses, they can live a more comfortable and healthy life. Sometimes all we need is a bit of help to make lasting changes that positively impact our lives.

For money-saving tips and guidance, check out these personal finance resources.

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