Chicago guaranteed income pilot program receives 176K applications

Pilot program to provide a basic income of $500 a month for 5,000 residents
CHICAGO (WLS) -- Chicago said 176,000 households applied for the city's first-ever guaranteed income program.

The city estimates that about 5,000 low-income households will benefit from the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot Program.

The city expects the program to be one of the largest monthly cash assistance programs in the nation, providing eligible families with $500 per-month for 12 months to provide additional economic stability.

"The fact that so many people from all over our city applied to this pilot underscores the need for us to innovate and reimagine how we uplift people and their communities," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said. "Putting cash directly into the hands of people who need it most is one of the most efficient and effective ways for us to support residents working hard to regain economic stability."

The applications will now head to a lottery to be overseen by nonprofit GiveDirectly.

-First, all applications are being placed in a pool for an initial lottery to narrow down the applicants to about 13,000, whose applications will be closely reviews
-A final selection lottery will be inducted with 5,000 households being selected for the pilot program
-After verification, benefits counseling and enrollment, most households will start getting money by the end of June
-All applicants will be notified of their status in the days after Memorial Day weekend via email, text and/or phone.

The city said it received applications from all 77 community areas and at least 300 applications from each of the city's 50 wards.

RELATED: Cook County announces guaranteed income pilot program

To qualify, residents must be:

-18 years or older
-Have experienced economic hardships because of the pandemic
-Have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. For a family of three, that is less than $58,000. For a one-person household, the limit is $33,975 and for two people, it is $45,775.

The city said 64% of the applicants live below the poverty line and 40% live in deep poverty at 50% below the federal poverty line.

Of the applications received, the city said:

- 62% of applicants identified as a parent or a caregiver
-70% of applicants identified as a woman
-17% of applicants identified as having a disability
-9% of applicants indicated that they are housing insecure or homeless

For more information, visit chicago.gov/cashpilot.
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