Stimulus Update: If You Live in One of These Cities or States, You May Be Eligible for Stimulus Money in 2022
- Hopes for a fourth stimulus check from the federal government for the American people are slim to none at this point.
- In the absence of additional federal assistance, many cities and states are providing some form of universal basic income to eligible residents.
It looks like it may be up to local governments to do what's best for residents.
As lawmakers pour their energy into partisan bickering, hopes of a fourth stimulus check hitting bank accounts fade. For some Americans, though, financial assistance remains available. That's because they're fortunate enough to live in states and cities that offer some form of universal basic income (UBI).
In short, UBI is a check from the government (in this case, city and state governments) sent in regular intervals. The idea is nothing new. Around 1796, political activist Thomas Paine, who helped lead the American Revolution, proposed providing UBI to non-landowners as a "matter of justice, not charity."
Today, UBI is focused on alleviating poverty and providing economic security by providing Americans with the funds they need to help cover basic expenses.
Each of the following cities and states is doing what it can to lift citizens out of poverty and provide families with what they need to survive.
Since June 1982, Alaska has paid out a portion of state oil revenue to each resident of the state. These dividends are paid annually, and last year 643,000 Alaskans received $1,114 each. The largest dividends to date were mailed in 2008 when checks for $2,069 per resident were sent.
The city of Chicago is rolling out a pilot program this year, sending $500 per month to families earning $35,000 or less. At first, the program will apply to 5,000 families, chosen at random, and is slated to run through the entirety of 2022. Given that an estimated 18% of Chicagoans live in poverty, this pilot program will not only help families in need but will also give the city a better idea of the impact UBI can have on a community.
Chicago is by no means alone. Other cities -- like Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Richmond, Virginia -- have introduced their own UBI programs. When UBI was introduced for low-income residents of Stockton, California in 2019, studies found that the extra monthly funds led to higher employment levels and better mental health. And lest anyone worry that the money was wasted, the study also found that funds were typically spent on necessities, like food.
Columbia, South Carolina
The UBI program initiated in Columbia, South Carolina, offers a monthly payment of $500 to struggling fathers. The direct payment program is called Columbia Life Improvement Monetary Boost (CLIMB) and allows dads to use the money on anything, including food, car repairs, and entertaining their children. While the program only includes 100 fathers right now, the goal is to learn if the extra funds will help to strengthen families and the communities in which they live.
Durham, North Carolina
115 formerly incarcerated Durham residents are taking part in the Excel pilot program for one year. To qualify, a resident must have been incarcerated within the past five years and have an annual income that does not exceed 60% of the area's median income. For one year, these residents will receive $500 per month.
Georgia offers two UBI programs. One is designed to help low-income residents of the state, and the other is geared toward women.
Through a program called IMPACT, 300 Atlanta residents are receiving $500 per month to help with bills. To qualify, a participant had to be at least 18 years old and live below 200% of the federal poverty line.
Georgia's other program, called Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund, gives 650 Black women $850 monthly payments over the next two years.
Los Angeles, California
3,200 low-income families are receiving $1,000 per month for a year in hopes that the stimulus funds will prevent them from falling further into poverty. To qualify, applicants have to live within the city of Los Angeles, have an income below the federal poverty level, be pregnant (or have at least one dependent child), be 18 years of age or older, and have experienced medical or financial hardship due to COVID-19.
Newark, New Jersey
Newark is sending funds to 400 families as part of their Guaranteed Income Pilot Program. Half of the participants receive $250 every other week, while the other half receives two payments of $3,000 annually. By the time the two-year pilot program is over, each family will have received a total of $12,000. Like other stimulus programs, participants must meet requirements. In this case, they must be at least 18 years of age, have an annual income at or below 200% of the federal poverty line, and be adversely impacted by COVID-19.
New Orleans, Louisiana
For 10 months, teens in New Orleans will receive $350 monthly as part of the state's financial literacy program. The goal of the program is to fight poverty and income inequality.
New York State
Through the Creatives Rebuild New York (CRNY) initiative, 2,400 artists with financial needs will receive a monthly payment. Although the program does not specify how much each payment will be, CRNY appears to be following the blueprint of a similar program offered in San Francisco. There, artists are receiving $1,000 per month.
Pittsburgh is another city looking out for low-income residents by providing 200 households with $500 monthly payments for two years.
Rochester, New York
In Rochester, 175 families will receive $500 monthly payments for 12 months through a two-year pilot program approved by the Rochester city council. After the first 12 months expire, another 175 low-income families will begin receiving $500 monthly payments. To qualify, households must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level.
Low-income families with at least one child between the ages of 3 and 20 are eligible for payments of $660 monthly. The city accepted applications through mid-January for the 12-month program.
In Washington D.C., 132 new and expectant mothers in Wards 5, 7, and 8 will receive $900 per month for one year through the Strong Families, Strong Future DC program.
As it becomes increasingly apparent that lawmakers are not interested in working together, it may increasingly fall to cities and states to take care of their own.
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