Chicago, IL

New public assistance program offers $500 monthly payments for 1 year to low-income households in Chicago

Kristen Walters

A new public assistance program is currently accepting applications from low-income Chicago residents. You could get $500 per month in direct payments for one year if you qualify.

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The City of Chicago is testing out a new public assistance pilot program called Chicago Resilient Communities Program. The program's goal is to provide low-income households with monthly cash payments to help cover the cost of essential items like food, housing, and utilities.

A recent study conducted by the city found that nearly 17 percent of Chicago households live below the federal poverty line. Another analysis performed in 2017 found that 44 percent of "windy city" residents could not afford to meet all of their essential needs.

City officials believe these numbers are more dire today after weathering the effects of the global health crisis. Thousands of people lost their jobs and battled health challenges during the pandemic. Now, they are being hit with increased costs due to the recent rise in inflation.

This pilot assistance program aims to be a step in the right direction to providing relief for those who have been hit the hardest financially over the last few years.

The initial pilot program will provide 5,000 Chicago households with monthly payments of $500 for 12 months.

Applications for the program are currently open and will be accepted until May 13, 2022. You can apply here on the City of Chicago's website.

In order to be eligible for the pilot program, you must:

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • live in the City of Chicago,
  • have a household income level at or below $250% of the federal poverty level, and
  • have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19.

According to information on the program's website, all eligible applications will be entered into a lottery. The first 5,000 drawn randomly from the lottery will be selected to participate in the program.

You can find more details about the Chicago Resilient Communities pilot program on the City of Chicago website.

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