$500 Monthly Stimulus Checks From Missouri Possible

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Some low-income families in Missouri could soon get monthly stimulus checks of up to $500. If approved, these stimulus checks are specifically for residents of St. Louis, Missouri. The proposal to send these monthly stimulus checks from Missouri has been approved by the zonal committee, but it still needs to clear several steps before it becomes a law.

Monthly Stimulus Checks From Missouri: Who Will Get Them?

Last week, Mayor Tishaura O. Jones’ administration revealed the details of the plan to send monthly stimulus checks from Missouri to low-income families. The plan calls for using $5 million in federal pandemic stimulus money to send $500 to about 440 households for 18 months.

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Lower-income parents or guardians of children attending city public schools would be eligible for the monthly checks. The money would primarily go to families that are in desperate need of financial assistance. The objective of the program is to help families who have lost money because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Guaranteed Basic Income cash assistance program has been sponsored by Alderman Shameem Clark Hubbard. Though the idea to send these monthly stimulus checks first became public last month, its details were only available last week before the aldermen took up the bill in committee.

Those against the program questioned the need for it considering there are already several programs that assist families with rent, utilities and food. Many also questioned the sustainability of the program once the funds are finished.

The mayor’s administration, however, countered the arguments saying it is a pilot program, and that they won’t commit more money unless they are sure that it would work. As mentioned above, the zonal committee has approved the bill and has forwarded it to the full board for further consideration. 

Once approved, the St. Louis Treasurer’s Office would be responsible for distributing the funds to eligible families. As of now, it isn’t clear when the program will start. The city took about six months to set up the one-time $500 payments last year.

If approved, this program could prove a major milestone for Jones’ efforts to fight poverty. Moreover, it would also place St. Louis among the growing list of American cities and counties that are experimenting with guaranteed income programs.

Not The First Time

St. Louis experimented with a similar program earlier this year as well. At the time, lawmakers used $5 million in federal coronavirus aid to send one-time $500 checks to over 9,000 households with a median income of more than $1,100 per month. To qualify for the money, the recipients had to be at least 18 years old and must have been a resident for a year.

In September, Mayor O. Jones discussed the results of the program, saying much of the money was spent on essentials: food, utilities, gasoline.

“Their responses highlighted a deep need in our communities for help,” the mayor told reporters at the time.