MR #22.25 Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot

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  • The Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot is a study developed by Northwestern University and the City of Evanston, IL for those residing in the city of Evanston. The purpose of the pilot is to support projects and programs that uplift Evanston's most marginalized community members by dismantling systemic barriers.
  • This manual release provides guidance regarding the Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot, including clarification on how these payments will affect eligibility of benefits.
  • Applications began 8/15/2022 through the City of Evanston. Participants will receive $500 per month for 12 months to provide economic stability.
  • In accordance with Public Act 101-0415, monies received from the Evanston Guaranteed Income pilot are considered:
    • exempt unearned income for all SNAP and Cash programs and Medical programs which utilize the MAGI budgeting methodology.
    • nonexempt unearned income for Medical programs which do not utilize the MAGI budgeting methodology. These encompass Medical programs under the AABD umbrella (Family Assist and AABD Medical). 

Where allowed by federal law, Public Act 101-0415 allows financial assistance, wages, cash transfers, and gifts provided to an individual enrolled in a program or research project whose purpose is to investigate the impacts of policies or programs designed to reduce poverty, promote social mobility, or increase financial stability for Illinois residents to be excluded for the purposes of determining eligibility and benefit amount for public assistance.

Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot

Northwestern University and the City of Evanston have developed the Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot that began 08/15/2022 to assist 150 people by providing the participants with a debit card which is loaded monthly with $500, for 12 months. Residents of the City of Evanston, IL, who are disengaged youth 18 through 24, persons 62 years of age or older, or undocumented individuals of any age, may apply to be selected to participate in the program.


Verification of income is required when determining eligibility for Cash, SNAP and Medical programs. The cash monthly payment received from the Pilot is considered exempt unearned income for the purposes of determining Cash, SNAP and medical eligibility for programs which use MAGI budgeting methodology and is nonexempt for AABD medical and other non-MAGI Medical programs.

The Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot is not considered a Work and Training program.


When entering income received from the Evanston Guaranteed Income Pilot in IES, workers should enter the income based on the programs selected when processing an application or changes to an existing case. Workers should process as follows:

  • Applications with Cash, SNAP and/or MAGI Medical, select Other Exempt as the unearned income type on the Unearned Income-Details page.
  • Applications for AABD Medical only, select Other Unearned as the income type on the Unearned Income-Details page.
  • Applications with Cash and/or SNAP containing Medical programs using AABD budgeting, workers should contact the Bureau of Medical Eligibility Policy and Special Programs (BMESP) for specific instructions,

Document in Case Comments the type of unearned income received and if it was exempt or non-exempt.

Manual Revisions

[signed copy on file]

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services

Theresa Eagleson

Director, Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services