First round of $500 monthly payments distributed to Chicago residents

Chicago's monthly cash assistance program got underway Monday with the first $500 monthly payments going out to low-income households who faced financial hardship during the pandemic.

The cash payments are funded through the $31.5 million Chicago Resilient Communities Pilot, which gives 5,000 Chicago households $500 cash payments every month for a year.

"In order to recover fully from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we must develop solutions that equitably and inclusively address the challenges facing our residents," Mayor Lori Lightfoot said in a statement. "Through this cash assistance program, we are able to serve those who have borne the brunt of COVID-19. Direct cash payments have the potential to be truly transformative for communities that need it most, which is why I remain so proud to be able to provide this vital programming for residents."


Over 176,000 residents applied for the pilot program this spring. Selected participants were required to have a household income at or below 250% of the federal poverty line ($55,575 for a family of four) and had to have experienced an economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Payouts for selected participants will come via direct deposit or through a prepaid debit card. The application deadline was May 13 at 11:59 p.m.

All applicants were notified of their application status by the first week of June, according to officials. 

If you applied and don't know the status of your application, visit