About the Program

Mayor Brandon Johnson and Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services has committed to investing in Chicago residents most in need through a new round of guaranteed income. Once the program launches, eligible Chicagoans can apply and will be selected through an open application and a city-wide lottery to receive $500 per month for twelve months, with no strings attached.

Chicago is a leader in guaranteed income thanks in large part to a strong coalition of advocates and service providers. Mayor Johnson is convening an Advisory Group of City officials, aldermanic leadership, and community advocates to support the program launch. He has also joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a nationwide network of mayors advocating for a guaranteed income to ensure that all Americans have an income floor, to work in partnership with other mayors to advocate for lasting support.

To stay informed on the latest announcements for the pilot, and to hear when the application will open, sign up to receive update emails by clicking here.

Why Cash?

17% of all Chicagoans live in poverty, and the percent is even higher in Black and Latino communities. In 2017, 44% of Chicagoans could not afford basic needs, and that was before the COVID-19 pandemic caused widespread and sustained job losses, health risks, and increased caregiving responsibilities.

The economic stimulus checks and Child Tax Credit payments provided by the federal government during the pandemic were a lifeline for many low and moderate income households. These checks were used to pay for core needs like food, rent, and utilities, and resulted in a nationwide decrease in poverty. Cash assistance is a simple and powerful way for governments to support residents working hard to regain stability and build a better life for themselves and their families.

About DFSS

Working with community partners, the Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) connects Chicago residents and families to resources that build stability, support their well-being, and empowers them to thrive. As the City of Chicago’s primary social services funder and administrator, DFSS manages a comprehensive, client-oriented human service delivery system that employs a holistic approach to improving the quality of life for our most vulnerable residents.

The 5th largest city agency, DFSS stewards and administers a portfolio of over $790 million and serves over 400,000 vulnerable residents a year. The department also provides direct services through its 6 community service centers, 22 senior centers, and direct outreach to individuals experiencing homelessness. The department is dedicated to serving seniors, children, youth, individuals experiencing homelessness, survivors of domestic violence, individuals seeking to reenter the workforce, veterans and other populations residing in Chicago.