Tony Preckwinkle
Toni Preckwinkle, County Board President, attends the Cook County Board Meeting in Downtown Chicago on February 26, 2020. Manuel Martinez/WBEZ Manuel Martinez/WBEZ
Tony Preckwinkle
Toni Preckwinkle, County Board President, attends the Cook County Board Meeting in Downtown Chicago on February 26, 2020. Manuel Martinez/WBEZ Manuel Martinez/WBEZ

Applications for a new guaranteed income program in Cook County are open. Recipients of the pilot will receive monthly $500 payments for two years.

“It’s income support for ordinary working people in this country,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told Reset.

The Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot launches at a moment when many are worried about a looming recession and have already been impacted by sky-high inflation. Prices rose by 8.2% from September 2021 to September 2022, and the increases on everything from gas to groceries to rent have been impacting low-income Americans disproportionately.

Here’s a closer look at who can apply for the payment program. Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18-years-old

  • Reside in Cook County

  • Have income at or below 250% of the federal poverty line for two years

This isn’t the first guaranteed income pilot in the Chicago area. Earlier this year, Chicago issued its first payments in a similar program, which provides monthly payments of $500 to 5,000 residents experiencing poverty.

And Chicago isn’t the only place trying out this model — The New York Times reported in September that dozens of U.S. cities have started guaranteed income programs in the past two years.

You can learn more about the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot and how to apply here, and to hear more, listen to Reset’s full interview with Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle by clicking the audio player.

Tony Preckwinkle
Toni Preckwinkle, County Board President, attends the Cook County Board Meeting in Downtown Chicago on February 26, 2020. Manuel Martinez/WBEZ Manuel Martinez/WBEZ
Tony Preckwinkle
Toni Preckwinkle, County Board President, attends the Cook County Board Meeting in Downtown Chicago on February 26, 2020. Manuel Martinez/WBEZ Manuel Martinez/WBEZ

Applications for a new guaranteed income program in Cook County are open. Recipients of the pilot will receive monthly $500 payments for two years.

“It’s income support for ordinary working people in this country,” Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told Reset.

The Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot launches at a moment when many are worried about a looming recession and have already been impacted by sky-high inflation. Prices rose by 8.2% from September 2021 to September 2022, and the increases on everything from gas to groceries to rent have been impacting low-income Americans disproportionately.

Here’s a closer look at who can apply for the payment program. Applicants must:

  • Be at least 18-years-old

  • Reside in Cook County

  • Have income at or below 250% of the federal poverty line for two years

This isn’t the first guaranteed income pilot in the Chicago area. Earlier this year, Chicago issued its first payments in a similar program, which provides monthly payments of $500 to 5,000 residents experiencing poverty.

And Chicago isn’t the only place trying out this model — The New York Times reported in September that dozens of U.S. cities have started guaranteed income programs in the past two years.

You can learn more about the Cook County Promise Guaranteed Income Pilot and how to apply here, and to hear more, listen to Reset’s full interview with Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle by clicking the audio player.