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Applications for the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot open Thursday

The Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot will be opening its application portal Thursday, Oct. 6. Eligible Cook County residents will be able to apply for the pilot by visiting promisepilot.cookcountyil.gov

The application portal will remain open until Oct. 21. There is no benefit to applying early; after the application window closes, final participants will be selected at random.

“After months of hard work, Cook County is proud to be launching the application portal for the largest publicly-funded guaranteed income pilot in American history,” County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. “We estimate that nearly 36% of Cook County residents will be eligible to participate, and I encourage everyone who meets the requirements to apply.”

The program is funded by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The $42 million Promise Pilot will send monthly payments of $500 to 3,250 residents for two years. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age, a resident of Cook County and have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

Federal poverty guidelines
Household/Family Size | 250% FPL
1 | $33,975
2 | $45,775
3 | $57,575
4 | $69,375
5 | $81,175
6 | $92,975
7 | $104,775
8 | $116,575
For each additional member over 8, add $11,800.

The pilot is open to Cook County households regardless of immigration status, and applicants will not be asked to disclose their citizenship status. 

Households that are already participating in another guaranteed income pilot, such as the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot or Evanston’s Guaranteed Income Pilot, are not eligible to apply. Cook County employees are also ineligible for the program.

Cook County has contracted with the non-profit organization GiveDirectly and their technology partner AidKit to run the application portal. The application will need to be completed via computer, tablet or smartphone with access to the internet. Applicants will also need to have their own email and/or mobile phone number to apply and be contacted by GiveDirectly for follow up.

Individuals in need of assistance to complete the application, or who need access to a computer, tablet or smartphone, will be able to access in-person and virtual support during the application window in locations across the county.

Information about assistance options can be found at www.engagecookcounty.com/promise. Support is available in English, Spanish, French, Polish, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

Cook County will hold a public webinar for residents interested in applying for the Promise Pilot on Oct. 11, 2022, at 5 p.m. Interested residents can join the webinar by visiting bit.ly/PromisePilot. The county also recently hosted a webinar for community groups and organizations on how best to assist residents in applying for this opportunity. View the recording and presentation slides here.

Payments to program participants are expected to begin December 2022. For more information about the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot visit www.engagecookcounty.com/promise.

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