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Uplift Harris Guaranteed Income Program: $500 Coming This Month

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Many Texans will start receiving $500 per month starting this month, thanks to the Uplift Harris guaranteed income program. Under the program, eligible low-income households will get $500 monthly for 18 months. The application period for the program closed in February.

Uplift Harris guaranteed income program: when to expect the money

Guaranteed income is essential for the survival of many recipients, especially after the end of the pandemic-era programs, such as stimulus checks, rental assistance and more. The program’s primary objective is to address economic inequity and reduce poverty.

“Uplift Harris will provide low-income families and households with direct, unconditional financial support to meet their household’s basic needs like rent, groceries, transportation, housing and utilities, and health care,” says the program’s webpage.

Under the program, 1928 families will receive a no-strings-attached $500 a month. More than 82,000 people applied for the guaranteed income program, and only about 2% of the total applications submitted were selected.

Applications for the Uplift Harris guaranteed income pilot closed on Feb. 2, 2024, while those asked to submit additional documents had until February 7 to complete the application. The selected applicants were notified on March 22.

Recipients were randomly selected through a lottery. Some recipients were selected through the county’s Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self Sufficiency program. Also, the program selected some people to participate in the surveys and research, but they won’t receive the money.  

Participants can expect to receive the first payments in April and no later than the end of next month. Recipients will get the money via bank transfer (direct deposit) or prepaid reloadable debit card. Most selected applicants live in high-poverty ZIP codes.

Who will get the money?

To qualify for the Uplift Harris guaranteed income program, a person needs to have a Harris County residency, live in specific zip codes (77050, 77093, 77051, 77060, 77028, 77033, 77026, 77081, 77547, and 77091), as well as have a household income below 200% of the federal poverty line, i.e., about $60,000 for a family of four and $29,000 for an individual.

Participants will be free to use the monthly payments for anything, with a few exceptions. The money must not be used to buy or support any activity that could risk the safety and security of other participants. Also, the money must not be used to support and/or promote any criminal or illegal activities, or entities or individuals relating to terrorism.

The Uplift Harris guaranteed income program is estimated to cost $20.5 million and the funding for the program comes from the American Rescue Plan Act. It must be noted that recipients won’t have to pay taxes on the money received as the funding qualifies as a tax-exempt charitable gift under IRS rules.