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People in this city can apply for $500 monthly stimulus payments starting today

Published Apr 25th, 2022 1:31PM EDT
Chicago downtown
Image: abricotine/Adobe

Applications for not one but two stimulus programs offering free money to Chicago residents look set to open this week. One of them is a stimulus check effort offering $500 a month to low-income residents. And the other is an effort to help out residents frustrated by high gas prices, through which they’d get $150 gas cards.

The programs are not only a high priority for the city’s mayor, Lori Lightfoot. The first one, the Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot, is also one of the biggest such cash assistance programs in the US to date. It will offer participants in 5,000 low-income households $500/month over the course of 12 months. Moreover, the program has a budget of $31.5 million, and it will hand out the free money to Chicago residents with no strings attached.

Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot

A close-up of a person opening a wallet with cash
A close-up of a person opening a wallet with cash. Image source: photoniko/Adobe

“The Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot is a $31.5 million dollar commitment from Mayor Lori Lightfoot and the City of Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services as part of her effort to tackle poverty and put residents at the center of the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,” the program’s website reads.

It goes on to note that: “The Mayor believes that people living with poverty simply do not have enough money to make ends meet. Cash assistance changes that circumstance and empowers residents to decide how to best meet their financial needs and goals.”

Click the link right here to visit the application page and to apply online. Applications will be entered into a lottery and will be accepted starting today until 11:59 pm on Friday, May 13. And eligibility requirements include:

  • You must reside in the city of Chicago AND
  • Be at least 18 years of age AND
  • Have experienced economic hardship related to COVID-19 AND
  • Your household income level falls at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

More free money for Chicago residents

Chicago Moves, meanwhile, is a program that will offer financial aid to help mitigate the cost of transportation expenses for 150,000 Chicagoans. That will be done by offering $150 physical prepaid gas cards for up to 50,000 drivers. And $50 prepaid transit cards for up to 100,000 riders.

“By subsidizing the cost of gas and transit, this program will enable participants to save their resources for other critical expenses,” Lightfoot said in a news release. “Chicago is a city that moves. People have to be able to get to work, school, places of worship, medical offices, and grocery stores. The goal of this program is to help make those moves easier.” 

Applications look set to begin on April 27, pending any last-minute change. To be eligible for these cards, applicants must:  

  • Be residents of Chicago  
  • Be at least 18 years old  
  • Have a current and valid city sticker with correct mailing information for their vehicle 
  • And have a household income at or below 140% of the Area Median Income for Chicago.

Andy Meek Trending News Editor

Andy Meek is a reporter based in Memphis who has covered media, entertainment, and culture for over 20 years. His work has appeared in outlets including The Guardian, Forbes, and The Financial Times, and he’s written for BGR since 2015. Andy's coverage includes technology and entertainment, and he has a particular interest in all things streaming.

Over the years, he’s interviewed legendary figures in entertainment and tech that range from Stan Lee to John McAfee, Peter Thiel, and Reed Hastings.