Evanston, IL

Illinois guaranteed income program is giving $6,000 to some residents in this city

Beth Torres

A new guaranteed income program in Illinois has just launched with plans to give a select group of residents a total of $6,000 over a one-year period. Each month for a year, program participants will receive $500 added to a prepaid debit card.

The government program provides this guaranteed income with no strings attached. Participants can spend the money on whatever they choose. It can go toward food, clothing, utility bills, entertainment, transportation, or anything else the recipient decides to spend it on. Recipients do not need to pay the money back.

This government program differs from others that designate what the funds can be spent on. For example, recipients of SNAP benefits must spend their funds on certain approved grocery items.

Instead, this guaranteed income program works under the principle that recipients know what they need best. Thus, they can spend the $500 monthly payments however it makes sense for their given situation.

Guaranteed income program details

The City of Evanston, Illinois is spearheading this pilot guaranteed income program in conjunction with Northwestern University researchers. The city is actively looking for 150 recipients to participate in the one-year program and receive a debit card loaded each month with $500.

The goal of this new program is for the city to learn how guaranteed income programs impact the community. This is why government officials have partnered with Northwestern University researchers, who will be tasked with helping select participants and analyzing the program's effectiveness. Northwestern also provided seed funding for the pilot program.

Who can participate in Evanston’s Guaranteed Income Program?

The city of Evanston is looking for participants who meet certain requirements. To receive money from the guaranteed income program, participants must be members of the Evanston community and fit into one of the following groups:

  • Adults, 18 to 24 years of age
  • Adults, 62 years of age and older
  • Undocumented community members

Participants must also have a household income that is at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Line. To determine if your household income falls within these requirements, please go to the City of Evanston Guaranteed Income Program website.

There are other details regarding this program that you’ll need to know if you’re interested in applying. For complete details, including information on how to apply, go to the city’s guaranteed income program page.

Be aware there is an application deadline. Applications for this program are open through August 29, 2022.

What do you think about government guaranteed income programs?

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