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Application period underway for county ‘guaranteed income’


People can begin applying for Los Angeles County’s guaranteed income program on March 31.

The “Breath: LA County’s Guaranteed Income Program’’ will give 1,000 randomly selected residents $1,000 a month for three years.

To qualify, people must be at least 18 years old, have a household income under $56,000 for a single person or $96,000 for a family of four and have experienced negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will receive the money through a debit card, and there are no strings attached or conditions to the income.

“The financial uncertainty and varying depths of poverty that millions of our constituents experience day to day cannot be addressed with a one-size-fits-all approach. Now is our opportunity to invest in support that directly reaches our residents,’’ said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Holly Mitchell.

“…It’s time that we trust that our residents know how best to meet their needs when given the resources to do so. Across the country, guaranteed income has already proven to reduce poverty, improve the long-term well-being of families, and give residents living on the edge of a fiscal cliff the support to breathe a bit easier.’’

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the motion, introduced by Mitchell and Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, to create the program on May 18, 2021. The motion also declared poverty and economic opportunity a public health matter.

“The course of this pandemic has revealed the large number of county residents who are living on the brink of financial crisis, with insufficient savings to weather a job loss, a medical emergency or a major car repair,’’ Kuehl said. “This guaranteed income program will help give residents the breathing room they need to better weather those crises.”

Los Angeles County’s Poverty Alleviation Initiative will oversee the program, and a research team from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Guaranteed Income Research will randomly select qualified applicants. The team will also study long-term impacts the income has on residents’ economic well being.

People can learn more about who is eligible for the program and apply at