Thousands of people in Chicago will benefit for a year as they receive more cash from their local government.
A $35 million dollar budget was passed in Oct. by the Chicago City Council that will help 5,000 families in need in the city.
This is the single largest basic universal income pilot program in the country.
What is the Universal Basic Income program and how does it work?
The program is choosing 5,000 Chicago families at random, so there is no application process.
The families must earn under $35,000 per year.
Chosen households will get $500 per month for one year.
Related: Stimulus check: These states are paying people stimulus checks and universal basic income
The money to make this possible is from the American Rescue Plan.
The goal is to help families offset some of the financial strain caused by the pandemic.
In the first six months of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people lost their job in Chicago.
Not everyone was in favor of passing the bill. Others wanted the money to go to anti-violence programs.
Related: Stimulus checks pave the way for these cities and states to offer $12,000 in universal basic income, is yours one?
People also expressed concern over the mixed results from other cities that have tried a UBI program.
Alaska has been giving its residents cash since 1982 but it’s shown only a 17% increase in part time employment.
A California program out of Stockton gave 125 residents $500 per month for two years, and data showed that it helped unemployment as well as mental wellness among those participating.
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