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$1000 a month for no reason: how to apply for a guaranteed income in Los Angeles

The application period begins March 31 for the Los Angeles County Guaranteed Income Program. It will provide 1000 randomly selected residents with $1000 per month for three years. NBC.

Photo: Shutterstock

To qualify for the Breathe: Los Angeles County Guaranteed Income Program, individuals must be 18 years of age or older, have a household income of less than $56 per person or $000 SA for a family of four, and be negatively affected by for COVID-96. Participants will receive money via debit card without any additional conditions.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell will officially open the application period on March 31 at a press conference at Community Coalition headquarters.

“The financial uncertainty and varying degrees of poverty that millions of our voters face day in and day out cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all approach. We now have the opportunity to invest in support that directly reaches our residents,” Mitchell said earlier.

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“It's time to trust that our residents know how to best meet their needs when they have the resources to do so. Across the country, income security has already been proven to reduce poverty and improve the long-term well-being of families. We want to help residents living on the edge of the financial abyss breathe a little easier,” he stressed.

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a proposal submitted by Mitchell and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl to create the program on May 18, 2021. In this proposal, poverty and economic opportunity are declared a public health issue.

“The course of this pandemic has exposed a large number of county residents who are living on the brink of a financial crisis without enough savings to survive the loss of a job, receive emergency medical care, or pay for a major car repair,” Kühl said.

“This income guarantee program will help residents take a breather to weather these crises more easily. Income Guarantee projects around the country show that financial support, combined with the freedom to make their own decisions about how best to spend their money, offers families the flexibility they need to establish stability and invest in a better future for themselves.” she explained.

The Los Angeles County Poverty Reduction Initiative will oversee the program, and a monitoring team from the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Income Guaranteed Research will randomly select eligible candidates. The team will, among other things, examine the long-term impact of income on the economic well-being of residents.

“There is still a lot we don’t know about the power of unconditional money over a longer period of time. The three-year pilot gives families the opportunity to set bigger goals than we've seen in other experiments, and it also gives policy makers a chance to learn how unconditional cash functions along with other programs over time,” said Dr. Amy Beth Castro of Center for Income Guaranteed Research at the University of Pennsylvania.

The pilot program is based on a similar program in Stockton, California, which has received high praise. Last year, the City of Los Angeles introduced a guaranteed basic income program called BIG:LEAP.

“With just 12 months in Stockton, we have seen a reduction in anxiety and depression, we can't wait to see how families can benefit from a much longer support period,” Castro said.

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Residents interested in applying can find more information on the website, including a map to help determine if they live in the relevant community. Information is also available by phone 213-342-1003.

The deadline for applying for enrollment is April 13. The selection will not depend on the deadlines for submission of applications.

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