Second round of the $14.68M fund will provide up to 17,000 eligible domestic workers and undocumented Chicago residents with one-time, $500 relief payments
CHICAGO — Today, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) Commissioner Brandie Knazze announced that domestic workers and undocumented residents are now eligible to apply for the Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0, which will provide one-time, $500 relief payments to populations that had difficulties accessing and qualifying for federal relief payments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City plans to award relief payments to up to 7,000 domestic workers and 10,000 undocumented residents.
“Care workers are the backbone of our economy — they make all other work possible. As a daughter of a domestic worker, I know the challenges they face day in and day out to support other families while trying to keep their own afloat,” said Mayor Lightfoot. “This fund represents the continued commitment from my administration to ensure that our hardest-hit residents, including domestic workers and undocumented residents, get access to recovery funds.”
To be eligible, applicants must be a domestic worker or undocumented resident, live in Chicago, be 18 or older, and have household income at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level ($69,090 for a household of 3). The Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0 is open to all eligible Chicago residents, regardless of legal immigration status. No questions will be asked regarding citizenship or immigration status in the application or verification process. COVID-19 cash assistance is not considered under public charge analysis.
Applications must be submitted online at www.chicash.orgThe application is currently available in English and Spanish. Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Arabic, and Polish translations are forthcoming. DFSS has engaged Heartland Human Care Services, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, and a wide array of community-based organizations to offer information and application assistance events across the city during the application process. Community organizations who want to help engage their communities should visit the website to access outreach materials, sign up to host an event using the Partner Form linked on the website, and to register for one of the upcoming virtual information session on Thursday, February 2, from 12 to 1 p.m. or Saturday, February 4, from 10 to 11 a.m.
“While the COVID stimulus payments were a great help for so many during the pandemic, many hard-working residents were left out of this critical resource,” said DFSS Commissioner Brandie Knazze. “The Resiliency Fund 2.0 is designed to help those who had to navigate the pandemic without such resources. We are grateful to our nonprofit partners for their support in helping our residents to access this financial assistance and to promote an equitable recovery from COVID-19.”
“The YWCA is proud to partner with the City of Chicago on community outreach and application assistance for this historic program, leading a coalition of partners, including ARISE Chicago and others,” said Nicole Robinson, CEO, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. “As a trusted resource for communities across Chicagoland, we can help elevate visibility of this program and help ensure that those who qualify have the opportunity to successfully apply. As an organization focused on driving economic equity, we’re thrilled to be connecting those in need with financial assistance to help meet the needs of their families.”
The term “domestic worker” refers to those who in the last 12 months have been paid for household services such as childcare or housekeeping which take place in a private home or residence. “Undocumented resident” refers to anyone residing in the United States without immigration status, and who lacks a social security number valid for employment. At this time, DACA recipients and new arrivals on humanitarian parole are not eligible to receive funds.
Applicants will be approved on a rolling basis and will need to submit proof of eligibility. Eligible applicants who were living in the United States in 2020 and 2021 and who have not received any previous COVID-19 cash assistance from the State of Illinois’ Welcoming Center COVID-19 Recovery Fund or from the Immigrant Family Support Project will be given priority for this fund. Up to two applications per household will be accepted.
For more information about eligibility and the application, residents should visit www.chicash.org to review the FAQs, find helpdesk contact information, and find an upcoming information or assistance event in their community.
“As part of Heartland’s mission to secure equity and opportunity for all, we are thrilled to partner with the City to serve as program administrator for the Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0,” said David Sinski, Executive Director of Heartland Human Care Services. “We believe that the Fund will help those who have been unable to receive traditional cash assistance secure a little more stability in their lives as they continue to recover from the pandemic’s impact.”
The Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0 is still accepting and processing applications from eligible households who claimed an adult dependent in their 2019 taxes, such as a college student or disabled relative. Spouses are not considered a dependent. For this application, also accessible on www.chicash.org, the tax filer should apply on behalf of the household and be prepared to upload a copy of their 2019 tax return or tax transcript. Residents should take care to navigate to the correct application based on their eligibility category.
In 2020, Mayor Lightfoot launched the Your Home is Someone’s Workplace campaign to bring awareness to the rights of domestic workers and to ensure they are treated with the dignity and respect that they deserve. In 2021, Mayor Lightfoot led efforts to expedite domestic workers to the $15/hour minimum wage by August 2021 and passed key legislation requiring all domestic workers to have a written contract. In 2022 and 2023, the City has funded direct outreach to domestic workers to equip them with information about their rights and to act as peer leaders in their communities.
Under Mayor Lightfoot’s administration, Chicago was ranked number one for socioeconomic integration and pro-immigration policies out of the hundred largest cities in the US. The Office of New Americans works to engage and promote the wellbeing of diverse immigrant and refugee communities throughout the city and supports City departments in ensuring full and equal access to social services.
The Chicago Resiliency Fund 2.0 is part of the $1.9B Chicago Recovery Plan bucket of investments and represents a continued commitment from the City of Chicago to center households in the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is modeled after the 2020 Chicago Resiliency Fund, which was a public-partner partnership between the City of Chicago, The Resurrection Project and Open Society Foundation that provided cash assistance to residents excluded from the first federal stimulus payments. The first round of Resiliency Fund 2.0 offered cash assistance payments for caretakers of adults who filed taxes in 2019.