Lori Lightfoot

Applications for Chicago's $500-Per-Month Cash Program Close Friday. Here's How to Apply

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You've only got a few hours left to apply for a Chicago cash assistance program that would put in your pocket $500 per month for 12 months.

Friday at 11:59 p.m. is the deadline to apply for the Chicago Resilient Community Pilot, an assistance program that provides lower income Chicago households $500-per-month for 12 months.

The program will select 5,000 households via a lottery to receive the funds. The lottery is designed to prioritize those living in poverty and communities with preexisting economy hardship, according to the city.

Here's how the program works, dates to watch and what to know.

When Did Applications for the Program Open?

The application process for the program is currently open. It opened April 25 at 9 a.m.

When is the Deadline to Apply for the Program?

The application period closes May 13 at 11:59 p.m. Residents must apply no later than that time in order to be considered.

All applicants will be informed of their status by the end of May.

Who Is Eligible for the Program?

In order to be eligible for the program, residents must:

  • Live in the city of Chicago
  • Must be 18 or older
  • Have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19
  • Have a household income at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (for example, $57,575 for a household of three)

Only one applicant per household can apply. According to the city, for household size, you should count yourself, your spouse, and any other family members who depend on you to cover most of their expenses (for example: children, students, or elderly, sick or disabled family members).    

The pilot is open to all residents of Chicago, regardless of your legal immigration status, the city says.

How do I Apply For the Program?

Applicants will be asked to submit documents that provide identity, documents that prove your identity, date of birth, current residence in Chicago, and total household income.

Here's how to start the application process.

According to the city of Chicago, the application is expected to take 20-30 minutes to complete and is available in English, Spanish, Chinese (Simplified), Arabic, Polish, and Filipino.

All applications must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered for the lottery.  

You can register for an in-person or virtual information sessions about how to apply for the pilot here, or schedule an application assistance appointment at various locations here.

How Does the Lottery Work?

According to city officials, all application and documents will be reviewed to verify eligibility, and those who are confirmed eligible will be able to enter into a lottery.

Only one applicant per household can apply and be entered into the lottery. 

In total, 5,000 households will be randomly selected to receive the funds. However, the. The lottery is however designed to prioritize those living in poverty (at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level), and communities with preexisting economy hardship according to the city.

Does the $500-Per-Month Need To Be Used in a Specific Way?

According to the city, Participants can use the money however they see fit to meet their needs, except:  

  • To buy or support anything that would harm the safety and security of project recipients and/or other community members 
  • For fraud or corruption 
  • For the promotion of any criminal activities 
  • To support any entities or individuals relating to terrorism 

More information can be found on the city’s website.

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