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Guaranteed income program: Monthly prepaid debit cards worth $500 in Illinois– Who is eligible?

Some residents in Illinois may be eligible for monthly prepaid debit cards worth $500.

This is part of a guaranteed income program with the ability to apply for the direct payments in 48 hours.

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Who is eligible for the guaranteed income program ?

Northwestern University has partnered with the city of Evanston, Illinois to launch a guaranteed income pilot program. All participants will get a prepaid debit card for $500. These cards will come monthly for a year. However, there are restrictions on what the card can be used for.

Applications will be accepted August 15 through August 29. In order to be eligible you must have have a combined income is at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Line, and fit into one of the following groups:

  • Adults 18-24 years old
  • Adults 62 years old and older
  • Undocumented community members

How is the program being funded?

$700,000 of the funding for the guaranteed income program comes from Federal Rescue Plan funds. However, most of the money comes from Northwestern University and the city. The idea is that these direct payments should supplement other programs that are in place. Researchers at Northwestern University intend to study the impact of the payments on families.


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