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Recipients of Chicago’s $500 per month cash assistance program will be selected this month – NBC Chicago

By on May 24, 2022 0

5,000 low-income Chicago households will soon find out if they have been selected for monthly assistance from the Chicago Resilience Community Pilot, a cash assistance program of $500 per month for twelve months intended to benefit people and to families facing economic hardship caused by COVID.

Applications for the $31.5 million program were open for a 3-week period, beginning April 25. They closed at 11:59 p.m. on May 13.

According to Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office, eligible applicants are to be selected through a lottery “designed to prioritize households living in poverty and those living in communities with pre-existing economic hardship.”

In order to qualify for the program, applicants had to meet several conditions, including being 18 years of age or older and having a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

During the application period, the program received more than 176,000 applications from Chicago’s 77 community areas, with at least
300 nominations submitted by each ward, Lightfoot’s office said in a news release.

The release goes on to say that preliminary analysis of applicant demographics shows that 64% of applicants live below the poverty line and 40% live in extreme poverty. 68% of applicants identified as Black or African American, 24% identified as Latino or Hispanic, 15% of applicants identified as White, and 3% identified as Asian.

62% of applications identified a parent or caregiver, 70% of applications identified as female, and 9% indicated that they were insecurely housed or homeless.

According to the mayor’s office, applications will be scrutinized for eligibility. those who qualify will be placed in a lottery, where “5,000 households will be invited to enroll in the monthly cash assistance scheme”.

“Pending final verification, advice on benefits and successful registration, most households will receive their first payments in late June.”

All applicants will be notified of their status within days of Memorial Day.

Here’s what else you need to know about the program

Who is eligible for the program?

To be eligible for the program, residents must:

  • Living in the city of Chicago
  • Must be 18 or older
  • Have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19
  • Have a family income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level (for exactly $57,575 for a three-person household)

Nominations were limited to one per household.

How exactly does the lottery work?

According to city officials, all applications will be vetted and placed in an initial lottery designed to prioritize households living in poverty in areas facing pre-existing economic hardship.

From there, eligible applicants will be placed into a final selection lottery, where 5,000 households will be “invited to enroll in the monthly cash assistance program,” a statement said.

When do participants find out if they have been selected to receive monthly support?

The more than 176,000 applicants will be notified of their status in the days following Memorial Day weekend by email, text or phone, the mayor’s office says.

When will participants receive their money?

According to a press release from the town hall, most households will receive their first payments at the end of June. Pilot participants who need additional support during the registration phase can receive their first payment at the end of July.

Does the $500 per month have to be used in a specific way?

Depending on the city, participants can use the money however they see fit to meet their needs, except:

  • To purchase or support anything that could harm the safety and security of project beneficiaries and/or other community members
  • For fraud or corruption
  • For the promotion of any criminal activity
  • To support any entity or individual linked to terrorism

More information can be found on the city’s website.