Texas Stimulus Update: Notification Expected for $500 Direct Payment Applicants in 11 Days

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Officials in Harris County, Texas, are about to reveal the chosen individuals for the Uplift Harris pilot basic income program, demonstrating their proactive efforts to fight poverty in the region.

The county reported that approximately 83,000 people have applied for the program, aiming to provide financial assistance to low-income individuals.

Scheduled to notify participants by February 26, the Uplift Harris program, spearheaded by Judge Lina Hidalgo, reflects a commitment to addressing poverty without turning it into a political debate. 

Hidalgo emphasized the obligation of county leaders to alleviate the struggles of families facing basic needs challenges, especially when Harris County experiences higher poverty rates compared to other areas in Texas and across the nation.

The pilot initiative plans to disburse $500 payments to 1,928 recipients over 18 months, commencing in April. 

The $20.5 million funding for the program is allocated from the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden in March 2021. Despite the current limited timeline, officials express the intention for long-term sustainability and gradual expansion of the program.

Texas’s Eligibility Criteria

texas-stimulus-update-notification-expected-for-$500-direct-payment-applicants-in-11-days
Officials in Harris County, Texas, are about to reveal the chosen individuals for the Uplift Harris pilot basic income program, demonstrating their proactive efforts to fight poverty in the region.

Judge Hidalgo stated, “We’ll be looking into how we can fund this program long-term and hopefully help even more families in the future.” 

The applicants’ eligibility requirements for Texas included living in designated high-poverty ZIP codes in Harris County and having an income that was 200% below the federal poverty line for those enrolled in the county’s Accessing Coordinated Care and Empowering Self-Sufficiency program.

The Harris County Commissioners Court approved the pilot program in June 2023, with applications open from January through February 2. 

While some jurisdictions have experimented with basic income programs using funds from federal relief bills, like the American Rescue Plan, results have been mixed. The success of the Uplift Harris program could potentially pave the way for long-term solutions and expanded support for families facing financial hardships in the county.

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