Madison kicks off guaranteed income program to help families

A pilot program giving 155 Madison families $500 per month for one year is now taking applications, according to a release from the city of Madison. The Madison Forward Fund, which is providing $930,000 in direct cash assistance to the program, is a collaboration between the city and Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a national network of mayors advocating for an income floor in their communities. The online application is available now through July 3 for qualifying families to apply.

The city is part of this pilot program to gain insight into how guaranteed income programs can help families. Any family is eligible to apply as long as they have a household income less than 200% of the Federal Poverty Line, have at least one child under the age of 18 living in the household, and are permanent residents of the city of Madison. For families approved for the program, the guaranteed income comes with no strings attached, meaning that families can spend it on whatever they need, when they need it.  

Emerging research suggests that when parents are provided direct cash assistance, they are better able to take care of their families. Other organizations contributing funds to the pilot program are UW Health, CUNA Mutual Foundation, Roots & Wings Foundation, Madison Gas & Electric Foundation, the TASC Family Foundation, American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, Alliant Energy Foundation, PRL Keystone Foundation, and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.