Residents in Cook County, Illinois, which includes the city of Chicago, can start applying for a guaranteed income program that will pay them $500 per month for two years.
Participants in the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot Program have to meet certain thresholds in order to be eligible. They must be adult residents of the county and make a household income of or below 250% of the federal poverty level or make less than $69,375 for a house of four, Fox Chicago reported.
“When people in communities are struggling to make ends meet, the most helpful thing we can do is give them cash,” Toni Preckwinkle, president of the county Board of Commissioners, said in a video advertising the program. “Decades of research shows that participants use the cash benefits wisely.”
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Around 36% of county residents are eligible to apply but only 3,250 will receive the cash benefits.
Applicants will not be required to provide information to verify their citizenship or immigration status.
Participants also must be not in other guaranteed income programs for the 24-month duration of the Cook County pilot.
The pilot will be funded by American Rescue Plan Act dollars, which is part of the county’s $1 billion investment to “help build a sustainable, affordable and equitable future for residents,” the news outlet said.
The application period will remain open through Oct. 21.
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