Ithaca’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program to Distribute Money to 110 Caregivers Monthly


ITHACA, NY — In collaboration with Mayors for Guaranteed Income, Human Service Coalition of Tompkins County (HSCTC) and others, Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick announced Ithaca Guaranteed Income (IGI), a pilot research program funded by the private sector, currently guaranteed to last only one year.

Eligibility for this pilot program includes caregivers’ broadly defined to include those who spend significant unpaid time caring for children (including parents) or caring for an elderly or elderly adult. disabled at home or away ”, with an income of 80 percent of the region’s median income (MAI) who live in the city of Ithaca. Anyone within a household can apply if they meet the application criteria, but participation is still limited to 110 people (application link below).

Once enrolled, each participant will receive an unconditional monthly cash payment of $ 450 with no strings attached for the duration of the program, which is one year to begin. Guaranteed income programs are not unknown in the United States, with a major study underway in Stockton, Calif., and the Universal Basic Income (which several countries around the world have tested in one form or another) has become a second or third political issue for progressives, pointed out by Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang in the 2020 primary.

“Research in other communities shows us that the overwhelming majority of recipients of money transfer programs use that money to meet their basic needs,” Myrick said. “Housing, education, unforeseen medical expenses, et cetera. Our group believes that we can trust people to make their own financial choices.

Myrick said he believed the whole country could benefit if guaranteed income programs were passed federally, citing the pandemic stimulus checks as an example which he said reduced barriers to families’ basic needs. and stimulated the economy.

“When we help people directly, they will know how to spend it on the things they need,” Myrick added. “We have seen it anecdotally and in practice.”

Myrick said other benefits such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) may be affected, but only in situations where the additional payment of $ 450 puts someone in a higher bracket who is no longer eligible for these advantages.

“We recognize that this has an effect on these benefits,” said Liddy Bargar, director of housing initiatives at HSCTC, at a meeting of the Human Services Coalition last week. “SSI [Supplemental Security Income] is the only advantage with which this is completely incompatible.

Bargar has previously said that other places with guaranteed income programs have reported a potential loss of SNAP benefits for participants, but the cash benefits outweigh that loss.

The app’s website will include a calculator to help determine what benefits might be forfeited if the person participated in the IGI. Additionally, this payment amount is considered “donation income” by the IRS and will not be taxed afterwards.
The application for IGI can be found here and will be open from December 10 to 17, 2021. Those who need help applying can visit the Tompkins County Public Library.

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