Who is eligible for the guaranteed income program in California in 2023?
Hundreds of families across California have been selected and enrolled in pilots to evaluate the impact of guaranteed income programs. Eligibility & more...
All around the Golden State, families are receiving monthly payments through their participation in guaranteed income pilot programs. Some of the pilots have already started, like the Los Angeles County Guaranteed Income (GI) Demonstration Project, which has been sending 1,000 families $1,000 payments since last spring and will do so through spring 2025.
There are no programs currently enrolling participants, but this could change in the future if the state legislature allocates more funding for these pilots.
Previous eligibility criteria
Should more pilot programs be approved, there could be shifts in the eligibility criteria. For the last round of applications, eligibility was sorted into three areas: Income, Priority Populations, and Verification.
The state was looking for organizations to develop pilots that ‘prioritized’ low-income households and individuals. Pilot programs often select from low-income neighborhoods and zip codes or by selecting an income level for a certain city or county. Eligibility in other benefit programs like CalFresh or CalWORKs is another way to identify participants quickly.
California’s leaders are interested in seeing how a guaranteed income, which differs from a universal basic income since only a selected group of the population will receive the money, wanted to target vulnerable residents. In this case, those categorized as vulnerable income young adults who aged out of extended foster care at twenty-one and are pregnant.
Lastly, a major benefit for those who may be eligible is that the state encouraged organizations to reduce the “verification burdens” for applicants. As mentioned above, this can be as simple as using enrollment in other social programs as a way to identify and accept participants.