$528 Guaranteed Monthly Check from Michigan Coming: Who Will Get It?

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A guaranteed monthly payment of $528 will soon go out to eligible Michigan residents for two years. Specifically, this guaranteed monthly check from Michigan is for the residents of Ann Arbor. The payment is targeted toward local entrepreneurs experiencing financial hardship.

Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor: what is it?

Michigan’s guaranteed income program, called Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor (GIG A2), is a two-year pilot program to provide monthly payments to struggling entrepreneurs. The program is managed by Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan.

In June 2023, the Ann Arbor City Council approved the University of Michigan for managing and evaluating the pilot program. The program has been funded by $1.6 million from American Rescue Plan Act funds.

“This guaranteed income pilot is about celebrating residents who do much to strengthen our community but are still struggling to make ends meet,” Kristin Seefeldt, U-M associate professor and lead researcher for the pilot, said.

Michigan’s guaranteed income program will randomly select 100 recipients from the pool of applicants. Recipients will be free to use the money on whatever they want.

Also, the program will select 100 more participants who will not receive the payment, but will be required to complete the survey. Participants in both groups will receive $50 each time they complete a survey on the Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor program.

There will be three surveys over the course of the two-year program, asking participants how they used the money, their health and well-being, and other experiences such as affording food, housing and child care.

“Only with the best possible research will we be able to make a strong argument to policymakers about expanding guaranteed income in the future,” the program’s website says.

Guaranteed Monthly Check from Michigan: who will get it?

To qualify for the guaranteed monthly check from Michigan, an applicant must be a resident of Ann Arbor and at least 18 years old. Also, the income of the applicant must be at or below 225% of the federal poverty line.

The threshold income has been defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in accordance with Ann Arbor’s area median income. Those who currently receive or are eligible for any public assistance, such as SNAP, are likely to qualify for the guaranteed check.

Moreover, the applicant must be an entrepreneur, self-employed, owner of formal or informal small businesses, gig worker, or people with side hustles, such as musicians, artists, independent contractors, and freelancers. Even those who are trying to start businesses are encouraged to apply.

Other public assistance benefits of the recipients might be affected if they receive the guaranteed monthly check from Michigan. The authorities, however, will inform the recipients in advance about the same to enable them to make the best decision.

The deadline to apply for the program has passed and the payments started going out this month. The payment will go out on the 15th of each month. So, the next payment will go out on February 15.

More details on the Guaranteed Income to Grow Ann Arbor are available on the program’s website.