The deadline for Cook County residents to apply for an income pilot program that guarantees two years of $500 monthly payments is approaching.
The Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, applications for which opened earlier this month, provides 3,250 eligible residents with monthly payments of $500 for two years.
As of Monday, the program had received 184,000 applications, according to county officials. The pilot project, which is funded by the US Federal Bailout Act, is accepting online applications until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, October 21.
A majority – 72% – of people who applied Monday identified as female, and 64% listed their race as black. About 24% of applicants identified as Hispanic and an additional 19% as white, according to Cook County officials.
Half of those who applied said they had been to the emergency room in the past year, county officials said. About 28% of claimants have delayed some form of medical care due to finances and about 22% do not have health insurance.
How to register
To apply, individuals must be 18 years of age or older and reside in Cook County for the duration of the program. Immigrants, including those who are undocumented, are eligible for the program, depending on the county.
The online application, Application Help, is located here.
An individual’s household income must be at or below 250% of the federal poverty level, which means $33,975 per year for a single person, according to Cook County. For a family of four, the household income must be $69,375 or less.
The online application will ask participants for an email or mobile phone number to reach them, although people can also provide contact details for a relative, friend or community organization instead. Applicants will also need to upload a government-issued ID card that includes their photo or a selfie.
Below are federal poverty guidelines correlated with household size to help determine eligibility:
|Household/family size||250% FPL|
|*For each additional member over 8 years, add $11,800|
Any residents who are already participating in a guaranteed income pilot program, such as those in Evanston and Chicago, are not eligible to participate in the Cook County program.
Those selected to participate in the pilot program are expected to begin receiving payments in December 2022.
The Chicago Sun-Times wire contributed to this article.