- Every Dollar Counts (EDC) is a research project designed to study the impact of improved economic stability for residents of Illinois. Individuals who participate in the project will receive a cash gift from a charitable organization of $50 or $1000 every month for 3 years.
- Due to Public Act 101-0415 and Senate Bill SB1735, money received from the Every Dollar Counts (EDC) research project is considered exempt income for cash and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) programs.
- Money received from the Every Dollar Counts research project is considered exempt for MAGI medical eligibility and non-exempt for AABD medical eligibility.
SB1735 allows financial assistance, wages, cash transfers, and gifts that are 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 levels for public aid wherever allowed by federal law. Money received from the research project is exempt income for AABD and TANF cash programs. Under guidance from FNS and pursuant to 7 CFR 273.9(a), and to align with TANF program rules, income received from the research project is considered exempt income for SNAP.
Every Dollar Counts Project
Every Dollar Counts (EDC) is a research project being conducted by the University of Chicago Poverty Lab and the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights. The research project is designed to study the impact of improved economic stability for residents of Illinois. The purpose of this project is to understand how providing a minimum level of economic security impacts the choices and outcomes of low-income households.
Participants are randomly selected from Cook, Iroquois, Kane, LaSalle, Lee, Ogle, Will and Winnebago counties. The eligible study population are individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 at the time of enrollment whose total household income in the year prior to enrollment in the study did not exceed 300 percent of the federal poverty level. Individuals who participate in the project will receive a cash gift of $50 or $1000 every month for 3 years. Participants will receive the cash gift through direct deposit and can spend the money however they choose.
These payments should be treated as follows:
Participants in the Every Dollar Counts (EDC) research project will receive written verification in the form of a letter or an email that they are enrolled in the study. Verification is required for those receiving or applying for SNAP, TANF and AABD cash. The cash gift received from the Every Dollar Counts research project is considered exempt unearned income for the purposes of determining SNAP, TANF, AABD cash and MAGI medical eligibility and is non-exempt for AABD medical eligibility. The EDC research project is not considered to be a Work and Training program.
EDC and IES
When entering income received from the Every Dollar Counts project in IES, workers should select Other Exempt as the unearned income type on the Unearned Income-Details page except for AABD medical. Select Other Unearned as the income type on the Unearned Income-Details page when entering income received from Every Dollar Counts project for individuals receiving AABD medical.
[signed copy on file]
Grace B. Hou
Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services (no heading, italicized)