Chicago Begins Distribution of $500 Monthly Payments to 5,000 Low-Income Families

A generic image of a pile of cash.
NBC Connecticut

Some Chicago families received a little help Monday as the city began distribution of $500 monthly payments for its Resilient Communities Pilot program.

Billed the largest monthly-cash assistance program in the country, it will provide more than $31 million in assistance to low-income households. Five thousand low-income households will receive $500 a month for 12 months in an effort to provide additional resources and stability to those who have faced disproportionate economic hardships during the pandemic, according to a news release from city.

More than 176,000 applications were received during a three-week submission period in the spring. According to city officials, the selection lottery prioritized households living in poverty and those in communities with preexisting economic hardship.

“In order to recover fully from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we must develop solutions that equitably and inclusively address the challenges facing our residents,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot explained in a news release. “Through this cash assistance program, we are able to serve those who have borne the brunt of COVID-19. Direct cash payments have the potential to be truly transformative for communities that need it most, which is why I remain so proud to be able to provide this vital programming for residents.” 

Participants met numerous eligibility requirements, including having household income at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Line and having experienced a negative economic hardship due to COVID-19, according to officials.

As of Monday, the city and organization overseeing the program, Give Directly, were finalizing enrollment and distribution for the 1,500 households who have yet to receive the initial payment.

Anyone who previously applied and is uncertain about the status of their application is asked to visit Applicants were notified about their status by the first week of June, according to the city.

Contact Us