Stimulus Check Update: Texas Residents Will Receive $500 for 18 Months As Financial Assistance

An initiative aimed at addressing economic inequality in Harris County, Texas, has the potential to improve the monthly income of hundreds of residents. A group of county homes will receive $500 per month for eighteen months as part of the Uplift Harris County Cash Assistance Pilot program.

The county website states that the endeavor is a component of a guaranteed-income pilot program sponsored by the Federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to “address economic inequity and reduce poverty.” This initiative is being implemented as a reaction to the recent coronavirus epidemic, which according to the program “magnified many long-standing health and economic inequities in the community.”

Eligibility And Other Criteria

There are restrictions to join the program, such as qualifying geographically and meeting income limits. Candidates may apply to one of two cohorts: one based on their location, and the other through enrollment in the state’s Empowering Self-Sufficiency and Accessing Coordinated Care program. Both cohorts’ eligible applicants, who must be at least 18 years old, will be chosen at random.

“Despite the area’s vast prosperity, Harris County has among the highest rates of economic inequity in the country, with 16.4 percent of residents living in poverty,” according to the county’s website. “Among other issues, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic inflation have magnified these inequities.”

Similarity With Universal Basic Income

The program is comparable to the idea of universal basic income, which has been implemented in several nations and is provided to families and people regardless of their financial situation. This implies that some wealthy individuals gain from payments with no conditions.

“Universal basic income [UBI] is probably best conceived as a floor to stand on, not as a safety net,” said Fabian Wendt, an assistant professor at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Conclusion

“There is no need to repay any portion of the funds; it is not a loan. Similar programs across the country have shown that direct cash assistance programs deliver wide-ranging social and financial benefits for participating families and the broader community,” according to the county’s website.

In recent years, several U.S. states have attempted pilot schemes offering guaranteed income. The monthly payments made to participants differ; in Los Angeles and Baltimore, some receive as much as $1,000 a month, while others receive smaller sums in other locations.

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