Eligibility & FAQs
Eligibility & FAQs
The City is no longer accepting applications for the Chicago Resilient Communities pilot. As of August 2022, all applicants have been notified about their status and the 5,000 households who were selected in the lottery are enrolled.
The eligibility requirements were:
- You reside in the City of Chicago AND
- You are 18 years of age or older AND
- You have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19 AND
- Your household income level falls at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level
Only one application per household was accepted.
To confirm your final payment date, please call 855-594-4016 on Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm CT, or email email@example.com.
Your final payment date will be the last business day of the month 12 months after your first scheduled payment. All recipients will receive 12 payments total.
If you received your first payment in June 2022, or it was scheduled for June, 2022, then you will receive your final payment on May 31, 2023. If your first payment was scheduled for July 31, 2022, then you will receive your final payment on June 30, 2023. If your first payment was scheduled for August 31, 2022, then you will receive your final payment on July 31, 2023. If your first payment was delayed, you will still receive your final payment in the month 12 months after when your first payment was scheduled.
If you are unsure of your final payment date please call 855-594-4016 on Monday through Friday between 9am and 5pm CT, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please call us at 855-594-4016 or email email@example.com and ask for proof of participation in the program. We will then send you a letter as proof of your participation in the program.
GiveDirectly’s customer support will continue through Thursday, August 31 at 855-594-4016, firstname.lastname@example.org and givedirectly.org/support. The phone lines are open from 9am-5pm, Monday-Friday. If you call outside of these hours or are unable to reach an agent, please leave a voicemail.
Starting in September 2023, any questions or inquiries about the pilot, please contact the Department of Family and Support Services, email@example.com or call 312-743-0300 Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.
No, the funds may be considered as qualified disaster relief and do not need to be reported as taxable income. See IRS guidance here.
In addition, because the funds are administered by GiveDirectly, a nonprofit charitable organization, and total less than $16,000 per year, they are tax exempt under IRS charitable gift guidelines
Many public benefits programs will exempt the cash assistance received during the pilot from your household’s income, so you do not have to include it in your reported income. These programs include CHA public housing and housing vouchers, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Head Start, Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), various Medicaid programs, and more.
The cash assistance received during the pilot may impact eligibility or reduce benefits for some programs, including Women, Infants and Children (WIC), and should be reported as income. If in doubt, speak with your benefits case manager and be sure to provide your proof of participation with tax and benefit information GiveDirectly.
It is not possible to reapply for the monthly cash assistance at this time. The Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot was a pilot program and does not have funding to continue after July 2023.
Information about other resources available throughout the city can be found on this resource list.
You may also be contacted directly via text and/or email about resources you’ve expressed interest in.
Please contact us at 855-594-4016, firstname.lastname@example.org or givedirectly.org/support if you have questions or are unable to access the resources available online.
The Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot was a pilot program launched in 2023 to understand how a guaranteed income of $500 per month affects residents’ financial and overall well-being. The City directed funding from the federal American Rescue Plan Act to pay for the one-year pilot. Continuation of the program will be dependent on insights from the research study and on future funding sources.
In February 2023, the Inclusive Economy Lab released an initial report about pilot participants as they enrolled in the program in the First Look Report. The full impact evaluation is expected in 2025.
The Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot is an initiative within the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS). The pilot will be administered by GiveDirectly, a nonprofit charitable organization contracted by DFSS. Learn more about GiveDirectly, and the other funded Outreach delegates selected through a competitive RFP process on the Partners page of this website.
Applicants who were confirmed to be eligible were entered into a selection lottery that determined who would receive the $500 monthly payments. Only one application per household was accepted for entry into the lottery. In total, 5,000 households were randomly selected to receive the funds.
The lottery was designed to prioritize households living in poverty (at or below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level) and those living in communities with preexisting economic hardship. This is aligned with the Chicago Recovery Plan's objective of promoting an equitable economic recovery.
All 5,000 fund recipients, plus a few thousand applicants who are not selected to receive funds, will have the opportunity to participate in an optional research study which will include a small stipend for participation.
This pilot was funded by the federal government through the American Rescue Plan Act and is one of many initiatives in the Chicago Recovery Plan. Learn more about the investments in the Chicago Recovery Plan to support the well-being of people and communities.
The City of Chicago is partnering with the University of Chicago Inclusive Economy Lab on a mixed methods research study to understand how the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot affects residents’ financial and overall well-being. There are three aspects of the research: surveys, interviews, and linkages to administrative data, like education records or credit scores, that can help the Inclusive Economy Lab understand the impact of this program. Results from the study will help the City better understand whether other programs like this can be successful in the future, as well as how existing City programs might be improved to serve communities across Chicago. Findings are estimated to be published in late 2025. An overview of the pilot using application data can be found in the First Look Report.
No. Universal basic income programs do not have eligibility criteria, are available to every member of a community, and are designed to cover the basic costs of living. This pilot has eligibility criteria and provides $500 per month to 5,000 residents.
This is a guaranteed income pilot and is budgeted to last 12 months. In guaranteed income programs, a targeted group of people are provided with a re-occurring cash transfer with no restrictions on spending.