Low-income Cook County residents could receive $500/month for two years

Lashaunta Moore

The pilot program promises monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years.

If you're a resident of cook county and meet eligibility requirements, you might have the chance to receive $500 a month for two years. In a press release on Oct. 4, Toni Preckwinkle, President of the Cook County Board of Commissioners, revealed that the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot application is now open.

The pilot program, which received $42 million in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act, will send monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years. Participants will be selected randomly, but some requirements must be met (see below). However, it's open to Cook County households regardless of immigration status, and applicants will not be asked to disclose their citizenship status.

Preckwinkle is encouraging everyone eligible to apply. "After months of hard work, Cook County is proud to be launching the application portal for the largest publicly-funded guaranteed income pilot in American history," she said. "We estimate that nearly 36% of Cook County residents will be eligible to participate, and I encourage everyone who meets the requirements to apply."

Here are answers to questions you might have.

Where can I apply?

Visit 'engage cook county' to apply.

When is the last day to apply?

Oct. 21

What are the requirements?

Must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of Cook County, and have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. Cook County immigrants can also apply. View the national poverty income chart.

How much could I get?

Only 3,250 low-income residents will receive $500/month for two years.

When will payments start?

It's expected to start in December 2022.

Can I still apply if I receive money from a different guaranteed income program?

No. For example, you are not eligible if you receive money from the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot or Evanston's Guaranteed Income Pilot.

Cook County is holding a public webinar for those interested in applying on Oct. 11 at 5 pm CT.

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