TOTALLY 5,000 happy families are lining up to receive a $500 per month stimulus check for a year.
Chicago families earning less than $35,000 a year are eligible for the “lottery” scheme, where the lucky ones are chosen at random.
The Chicago City Council approved a $35 million budget in October to provide for the city’s most deprived people.
The scheme is the largest basic income pilot program in the country.
The randomly selected families will receive $500 per month for an entire year.
The money has been provided as part of the US bailout plan and is intended to lend a helping hand to those who are struggling financially due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the first six months of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of people lost their jobs in Chicago.
The bill did not receive universal support and some wanted the money to be used for anti-violence programs.
Others doubted the scheme would be successful due to the mixed results of other cities that had implemented a UBI program.
Alaska has been giving its residents cash since 1982, but the program has seen only a 17 percent increase in part-time jobs.
A Stockton California program gave 125 residents $500 a month for two years, and data showed it helped both unemployment and mental wellbeing among participants.
The Chicago Scheme comes because Illinois employees who earn less than $75,000 a year may qualify for an early Christmas gift — a $200 stimulus check.
Read our stimulus checks live blog for the latest updates on Covid-19 aid…
People in Illinois could get the extra money after the proposal was made by Republicans in the state House of Representatives.
If it becomes law, individual taxpayers earning less than $75,000 would receive a check for $200, while the amount is $400 for joint filers earning less than $150,000, according to WCIA.
GOP state representative Tom Demmer said the aid would “mirror” some of the financial support given by the federal government in recent years.
“It could be an extra week or two of groceries, it could be a few extra utility bills, or it could be the difference between being able to buy your kids new shoes or winter coats.”
A number of other states will also send out incentive checks before Christmas.
GROWING FEAR ABOUT NEW COVID VARIANT
The move comes as fears of the new Covid variant Omicron are mounting.
A state of emergency has been declared in New York and President Joe Biden has banned travel from eight African countries to keep the super tribe out of the US.
Ahead of the chaotic Christmas season, Governor Kathy Hochul signed an executive order on Friday that she hopes will ease pressure on health operations ahead of a possible spike in Covid cases.
Biden said of the travel ban: “The policy has been implemented out of an abundance of caution in light of a new Covid-19 strain circulating in southern Africa.
“Our scientists and public health officials are working quickly to learn more about this variant.”
Experts have made it clear that this is the worst variant of the virus seen so far, although its importance is not yet known.
The Omicron has a combination of mutations of several dangerous variants that have evolved over the past year.
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