Cook County guaranteed income pilot program applications open Thursday

Program to provide a basic income of $500 a month for 3,250 residents

ByABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Thursday, October 6, 2022
Preckwinkle announces Cook County Promise guaranteed income program
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle outlines a guaranteed basic income program.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Cook County's Guaranteed Income Pilot program will start accepting applications Thursday.

People in the program will be paid $500-a month for two years. Their household income must be at or below 250-percent of the poverty level.

The program will serve 3,250 residents.

The application portal will remain open until October 21. Participants will be selected by a lottery after applications close.

"Historically, both public and private institutions have been unwilling to directly invest in low-income people without significant restrictions attached. This red tape is in place not because any evidence shows that it is necessary, but rather because our society does not trust that people living in poverty have the character or ability to make good decisions for themselves," President Preckwinkle said at the time the program was announced. "Cook County is reframing the way we think about government assistance and is proud to be leading the way in the American guaranteed income movement."

Chicago and suburban residents can apply, with a majority of those selected coming from the suburbs. The pilot program is being funded in part by money from the American Rescue Act.

Residents looking to apply can visit