As we’ve pointed out on numerous occasions now, the federal government has more or less gotten out of the stimulus check game. Whereas it sent out tens of billions of dollars worth of them last year, now states and cities are stepping up to offer their own versions this year. That’s sometimes done via straight-up stimulus checks. But they can also take the form of guaranteed income payments. As well as gas rebates, even, in light of the high prices at the pump these days.
Regardless, those checks are now largely dependent on who you are and where you live. Which is different, of course, from how fairly broad-based the federal stimulus checks were. And some of these new ones come with important actions required on the front end.
One example is an actual application for the guaranteed income “Breathe” program in Los Angeles, which will give participants $1,000 a month for three years. But you have to apply by Wednesday, April 13.
Guaranteed income program
Guaranteed income programs like LA’s are distinct from stimulus checks, in that they more or less provide versions of the latter over an extended period of time.
The concept of offering Americans a basic or “guaranteed” income moved even more prominently into the spotlight in 2020. Specifically, when presidential candidate Andrew Yang pushed a basic income proposal as a potential federal policy. His plan sought to address the then-economic fallout associated with the Covid pandemic. And it also called for giving $1,000 each month to Americans over 18 years old.
Since then, a number of cities around the country have been trying their own versions of this. Like the city of Newark, New Jersey, for example, which recently expanded a basic income program there to 400 residents. Each of the participants is getting a total of $12,000 over two years. The participants are low-income and have to prove a hardship of some kind stemming from the Covid pandemic.
Los Angeles experiment
In terms of what Los Angeles is getting ready to undertake? LA-area families that participate will get up to $1,000/month for three years. With no strings attached as far as how they’re allowed to spend the money. “It’s going to be a lifeline, and it’s an opportunity to move beyond poverty, we hope,” South LA Councilman Curren Price told Fox 11 Los Angeles. “It’s going to be a grand experiment, the largest one in our country so far.”
Click the link right here to apply for the program.
“Los Angeles County is launching the pilot program Breathe to provide its residents the chance to ‘breathe’ easier knowing they are more financially secure,” the program’s website notes. “Breathe is a guaranteed income pilot project that will provide 1,000 eligible residents with $1,000 per month for three years.
“While the benefits of guaranteed income programs have been documented, this will also be an independent research project that will be used to study the effects of this type of program so that the County and other jurisdictions can learn about the project’s impact on the economic stability of participants, as well as its impact on participants’ overall health and well-being.”