Stimulus update: Direct $500 payments for more than 300 families to be sent in 14 days

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FILE – In this June 15, 2018, file photo, cash is fanned out from a wallet in North Andover, Massachusetts. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File) Elise Amendola/AP

Stimulus update: Direct $500 payments for more than 300 families to be sent in 14 days

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In only two weeks, select families in Sonoma County, California, will receive their next payment worth $500 from a guaranteed income program.

The Pathway to Income Equity program gives 305 families in the area $500 every month for two years, with the next payment set to be issued on April 19.

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“These payments will help families with young children who are often struggling under the double burden of the high costs of housing and child care — typically the two highest household expenses,” said Chris Coursey, chairman of the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors. “The information we gain from this pilot program will help shape future efforts to improve the health and welfare of our community.”

Sonoma County officials will study what effect this additional monthly income has on reducing poverty and promoting economic mobility for families with young children, according to the Sonoma County Administrator’s Office.

Officials also said the payments are delivered on the third Wednesday of each month, adding that the final payment in the program would be issued in December 2024.

The requirements for this program include being a resident of Sonoma County, being pregnant or having a child who is less than 6 years old, being affected by COVID-19, and making an income of less than 185% of the federal poverty level. The federal poverty level is $42,606 for a family of three people.

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“Most of our selected recipients are already working, many working more than one job or more than 40 hours a week just to survive,” said Angie Dillon-Shore, director of the nonprofit group First 5 Sonoma County. “This extra income will allow them to spend more time with their families, find a better job, or improve their financial well-being, resulting in better outcomes for their kids.”

The program accepted applications for the payments last year, with 6,450 applications being submitted online. Officials say that of all the applications, 2,383 met the eligibility requirements. The application period was from Sept. 1, 2022, through Oct. 31, 2022.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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