Wisconsin $500 Monthly Checks
For 12 Months: Who Qualifies?
The Madison Forward Fund, a year-long trial program of guaranteed income, has distributed the first of 12 monthly payments to low-income families.
The guaranteed income is a $500 monthly payment made directly to 155 households over the course of a year.
During the application period, the Madison Forward Fund received approximately 3000 applications from qualified Madison families.
155 families were randomly selected from the applicant pool to receive monthly payments, demonstrating that Madison's need exceeds the pilot program's capacity.
Many recipients in these programs have income at or slightly above the poverty line and don't qualify for other government benefits, but can't meet their family's needs.
"Having a guaranteed income could open so many doors for people who are going through difficult times," Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said.
Eligibility includes living in Madison, having at least one child under 17 at home, and having a household income below 200% of the federal poverty line.
Dozens of direct cash assistance programs, such as the Madison Forward Fund, have started recently to support financial security and economic mobility for low-income community members.
Other direct assistance programmes, such as the Child Tax Credit, have been shown to assist families in maintaining financial stability.
TASC, a third-party benefits administrator based in Wisconsin, is in charge of distributing payments to the families who have been chosen to receive them.