Guaranteed income programs are popping up all over the country! These pilot programs are providing hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of dollars in no-strings-attached cash to people who need it.
What are guaranteed income programs?
Guaranteed Income Programs provide monthly checks to eligible participants for a certain period – usually one to three years. During the program period, household will have dependable guaranteed income from the program in accordance with the program term.
Every program sets their own criteria and rules, though, so you’ll need to find your local program in our list below for details.
Is it different than Universal Basic Income?
Yes. Universal Basic Income would provide a flat amount of money to everyone. Guaranteed Income is more limited, providing a specific amount of money to specific people who qualify. In many cases, these guaranteed income programs are being tested to see if a more expansive Universal Basic Income program may be viable.
How do I apply for guaranteed income programs?
That’s a great question – and it really depends on where you live and what you are eligible for. These programs are all very local and applications will vary based on the specific program that you are applying for.
In the list below, we have sought to include every program in the United States. Some are currently seeking applications and others are currently running.
Pay close attention to any existing programs in your area that are slated to end this year. Some of them have already opened applications for the next phase or round of their operations.
Guaranteed Income Programs by State
This list has been organized alphabetically by state for your convenience. Programs that were accepting applications or preparing to accept applications at the time of our last update have been marked with “NEW” in red.
Alabama – NEW!
Birmingham has proposed a Guaranteed Income Program called Embrace Mothers. This program would provide $375 per month to 110 Birmingham residents for an entire year. In order to be eligible, you would need to be a female-identifying head of household who cares for at least one child under the age of 18. Only residents who live within Birmingham City Limits would be eligible. Applications are expected to open between January and February 2022.
The Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, which provides an annual dividend to eligible residents, is one of the oldest guaranteed income programs.
In order to be eligible for the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must have been an Alaska resident for the entire calendar year before you apply.
- You must intend to remain an Alaska resident indefinitely when you apply.
You must apply every year between January 1 and March 31 to receive the dividend.
Arizona – NEW!
In Phoenix, the Financial Assistance for Phoenix Families Program will provide $1,000 per month to about 1,000 families for a year. The program hopes to begin by January 2022.
California – NEW!
There are many existing guaranteed income programs in California. In fact, California was the first state in the United States to authorize a statewide program! The statewide program provides up to $1,000 per month for eligible people who are aging out of extended foster care or who are pregnant.
Compton Pledge is entering its second year, sending $1,800 every quarter to 800 residents.
Long Beach selected 500 residents in the 90813 zip code to receive $500 per month for 12 months. The program was designed to serve single-parent households who lived below the poverty line.
Los Angeles has a BIG LEAP guaranteed income program that is starting 2022. This program will provide $1,000 per month for 12 months. Approximately 3,000 households will be able to participate in the program.
Los Angeles County has guaranteed income programs that provide $1,204 per month to 150 young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 who already receive other benefits.
The Marin County Foundation is administering a program that was supposed to begin in 2021. However, I was unable to locate any information about the program actually starting. It was designed to serve 125 low income mothers with $1,000 per month. You would need to contact the Marin County Foundation for details.
Mountain View is preparing a guaranteed income program that offers $500 per month to extremely low income families with children under the age of 18. Up to 166 families can receive assistance for one to two years.
The Oakland Resilient Families program is preparing to enter Phase 2 because Phase 1 is nearly complete!
The Direct Investment Program in Sacramento (DIPS) started in June and will continue to provide $300 per month for 24 months to 100 participants.
San Diego for Every Child administers a program that provides up to $500 per month to 150 families of color. In order to be eligible, you must have at least one child under the age of 12 in specific zip codes within San Diego or National City.
San Francisco has one of the more interesting guaranteed income programs. It is specifically designed for artists who were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The County of Santa Clara‘s Basic Income Pilot provides up to $1,000 per month to up to 2,500 young people who are aging out of foster care.
South San Francisco launched guaranteed income programs that provide $500 per month to 135 eligible families for 12 months. The program is designed to serve those who are aging out of foster care, single heads of households, families with minor children, and those residing in the city’s lowest-income areas.
Stockton’s SEED program ended in February 2021.
Colorado – NEW!
Denver Basic Income Project plans to seek participants and launch their program in the first half of 2022. In order to be eligible, you must be at least 18, experiencing homelessness (including living in a hotel or a car or couch surfing), and be connected with one of the program’s partner service providers. People with severe and unaddressed mental health or substance abuse issues may not be eligible.
Florida – NEW!
In Gainesville, the Just Income GNV program provides $1,000 the first month and $600 each month for the next 11 months. Applications will be open until February 9, 2022. This program is specifically for Alachua County residents who meet one of the following requirements:
- You must have been released from a Florida state prison on or after August 9, 2021; OR
- You must have been released from a federal prison on or after August 9, 2021; OR
- You must have been released from a Florida County jail with a new felony conviction on or after August 9, 2021; OR
- You must have began felony probation in Alachua County on or after August 9, 2021.
Georgia – NEW!
The Georgia Resilience and Opportunity Fund (GRO Fund) is seeking bold solutions to racial justice. They administer a program called In Her Hands that will provide $850 per month for two years to more than 600 Black women across the state. It will launch in Atlanta’s historic Old Fourth Ward in early 2022.
Chicago’s Guaranteed Income Programs are expected to launch in 2022. This program is open to Chicago residents who are enrolled in City Colleges or have a dependent who is enrolled in (or is too young to enroll in) Chicago Public Schools or City Colleges. You must have been financially impacted by COVID-19 and have an income at or below 300% of the federal poverty level.
In Gary, the Guaranteed Income Validation Effort (GIVE) program provides 100 residents with $500 dollars per month for up to 18 months. In order to be eligible, you must be a Gary resident that is at least 18 years old and earns $35,000 per year or less.
Louisiana – NEW!
New Orleans sends $350 per month to young people between the ages of 16 and 24 who participate in a financial literacy program. The program is expected to launch in Spring 2022.
Shreveport is beginning a guaranteed income program that will provide $600 per month for one year. The money will be given to 100 single parents or legal guardians of school-age children in Shreveport. The program does not have any work or education requirements. Recipients will be chosen from a random lottery of applicants. Please contact the city for more information on how to apply.
Montgomery may begin a Pilot Program next year that will provide $800 per month to 300 families for two years. This would be the first program of its kind in the state.
The Cambridge Recurring Income for Success and Empowerment program provides $500 per month to 120 residents for 18 months. This program specifically helps single caretaker households with children under the age of 18.
In Chelsea, the Direct Assistance Stipend Program provided $200-$400 per month to eligible households. They selected 2,000 households to participate in this program.
In Lynn, the Family Health Project provides new mothers with $400 each month for 36 months. The money is provided through a reloadable debit card. In order to participate, you must be referred by a federally qualified community health center.
Minneapolis‘ Guaranteed Basic Income Program launches in Spring 2022. It will help 200 families, with $500 each month for two years.
In Saint Paul, The People’s Prosperity Guaranteed Income Pilot provides $500 per month for 18 months. The program was designed to assist families participating in CollegeBound Saint Paul.
Magnolia Mother’s Trust provides $1,000 per month to eligible Black mothers in Jackson, Mississippi. The program sends the money every month for 12 months. The program began in 2018. The program typically starts a new group in the spring.
Missouri – NEW!
In St. Louis, a $500 per month guaranteed income program is expected to help 9,300 St. Louis families. The program serves city residents who have lived there at least 12 months, earn less than 80% of the area median income and who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Newark Movement for Economic Equality is more complicated than most. This program provides $250 every two weeks and $3,000 every six months. The program launched in Fall 2021 and will last for two years.
The Paterson Guaranteed Income Pilot provides $400 per month for 12 months to 110 residents. The program began in 2021.
The City of Sante Fe Learn, Earn, Achieve Program (or LEAP) provided $400 per month for one year to 100 community college students. They are currently seeking funding for a second year, so please watch their website for more information about how to apply.
New York – NEW!
The HudsonUP program originally intended to send $500 per month to 25 participants for five years. However, they opened the program to 50 new applicants in late 2021. There is a chance they will open to more applicants in the future. In order to be eligible, you must be a City of Hudson resident who is over age 18 and earns less than the city’s area median income.
In Ithaca, the Guaranteed Income pilot program provides $450 per month to 100 caregivers for one year. They define unpaid caregivers as those who spend significant unpaid time caring for an aging or disabled adult or child.
In Mount Vernon, the city is exploring the possibility of a guaranteed income program. The city would send $500 per month to 100 families for 18 months.
In Ulster County, Project Resilience is providing $500 per month to 100 applicants through Spring 2022.
North Carolina – NEW!
In Durham, more than 100 residents will receive $500 per month for an entire year through the Excel Guaranteed Income Pilot. Applications open January 5, 2022. You must be at least 18 years old, live in Durham, and have been incarcerated in the last five years, and earn no more than 60% of the Area Median Income to qualify.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Casino Dividend is also a sort of guaranteed income program. It provides between $4,000 and $6,000 per year to every eligible tribal member. This program has been operating since 1996.
In Pittsburgh, the Assured Cash Experiment PGH (AcePGH) program provides $500 per month to 200 participants. Of those, 100 participants will be Black women who live in the City of Pittsburgh, earn 50% or less of the Area Median Income and participate in the Pittsburgh Financial Empowerment Centers. Another 100 will be randomly selected from five disadvantaged zip codes. The $500 will be sent on a debit card each month for 24 months.
Providence has launched the PVDGI Pilot. This program sends $500 per month payments for one year to 110 selected residents.
The Columbia Life Improvement Monetary Boost or CLIMB program provides $500 per month for one year to eligible fathers who are working with the Midlands Fatherhood Coalition. This program should be ending soon and it’s not clear if they are opening up another round of applications, but I’d contact the Coalition if you are interested.
Virginia – NEW
Alexandria’s Recurring Income for Success and Equity (ARISE) provides $500 per month to 150 Alexandria households for two years. Applications are expected to open in Spring 2022.
The Richmond Resilience Initiative is slated to end in December 2022.
Growing Resilience in Tacoma (or GRIT) has officially started! The first payment of $500 was sent to 110 Tacoma families on December 15th, 2021. These families will continue to receive $500 on the 15th of every month through November 2022.
Wisconsin – NEW!
In Madison, a guaranteed income program has been in development for more than a year. Minutes from the most recent task force meeting showed that the program will likely be called The Madison Forward Fund. The program is not finalized, so it is reasonable to assume that the applications will open at some point in the future.
In Milwaukee, a program may also be in development.
In Wausau, a program may also be in development.