Los Angeles County launched its $1,000 guaranteed basic income program, Thursday, with eligible residents able to apply through the “Breathe” website.

The “poverty alleviation program” would provide $1,000 per month over a 3-year span, but will only go to 1,000 randomly-selected applicants.

The pilot program will be studied over the following three years, to see its economic effects on participants.

“Early research suggests that a Guaranteed Income program can provide households with financial stability during sharp economic swings to breathe a little easier, alleviate stress, and broaden recipients’ horizons, allowing them the time to complete deferred education and job training, as well as plans to fully participate in their communities,” the Breathe program states on its website. “While the benefits of guaranteed income programs have been documented, this will also be an independent research project that will be used to study the effects of this type of program so that the County and other jurisdictions can learn about the project’s impact on the economic stability of participants, as well as its impact on participants’ overall health and well-being.”

There are specific requirements for eligibility, with links to see if an applicant falls under the qualifying neighborhoods and income levels.

The eligibility requirements are as follows:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older
  • Must live in an L.A. County neighborhood that falls at or below 100% of the County’s Area Median Household Income (AMI) (Eligiblity Map)
  • Must have a household income that falls at or below 100% of the County’s AMI, for a single person household, or have a household income that falls at or below 120% of the County’s AMI for households with two or more persons (Income Eligibility Table)
  • Must have been negatively financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Cannot be currently enrolled in another Guaranteed Income project offered by the County, a city, or other public or private entity
  • Only one person will be eligible to participate in the project per household

The city of Los Angeles launched a guaranteed basic income program of its own in November of 2021. While the city’s program involved approximately 3,000 applicants, (more than the county’s 1,000) it would only run for 12 months, two years shorter than the county’s version.

The deadline to apply for the county’s Breathe program is April 13.

LA Weekly