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How to apply for Cook County coronavirus relief payments

The COVID-19 Recovery Resident Cash Assistance Program will provide a one-time cash payment of $600 to about 3,000 suburban Chicago residents. Here’s how to apply.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle discusses the COVID-19 Recovery Resident Cash Assistance Program during a press conference at the County Building in the Loop, Monday morning, Oct. 26, 2020. Ebony Scott, of the Family Independence Initiative, and Harold Rice, president and CEO of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, look on during the press conference. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle discusses the COVID-19 Recovery Resident Cash Assistance Program during a press conference at the County Building in the Loop, Monday morning, Oct. 26, 2020. Ebony Scott, of the Family Independence Initiative, and Harold Rice, president and CEO of the Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, look on during the press conference. | Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Suburban Cook County residents struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic can apply for a one-time cash payment of $600, county officials announced this week.

The Cook County COVID-19 Recovery Resident Cash Assistance Program aims to distribute a total of $2.1 million to about 3,000 residents, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle said. The money is being provided through the federal coronavirus relief bill.

To be eligible for the cash payment, you must be a resident of suburban Cook County — city residents are not included in the program. Applicants must provide documentation showing the pandemic’s negative financial impact on their household due to job or wage losses, unpaid leave to care for vulnerable or sick relatives, unpaid sick leave, or loss of wages due to school closures.

If you think you may qualify for the $600 relief payment, you need to create an account on the Cook County COVID-19 Recovery website (https://fund.uptogether.org/suburbancookcountyfund) using an email, Google or Facebook account, or a phone number that can receive text messages.

You will need the following documents to apply:

  • One form of government issued identification that includes your current residential address or two alternative forms of identification.
  • Proof of your COVID-19 hardship due to unpaid leave, care for vulnerable or infected relatives, or loss of wages due to business or school closures. (You can see a list of acceptable documents here.)
  • Proof of household income prior to March 1, 2020 (See below for income requirements.)
  • Bank information including account and routing number if you choose to direct deposit.

Applicants’ income must land below a certain threshold determined by family size, based on household income prior to March 1, 2020:

  • $31,9002 for single people
  • $43,1003 for two-person households
  • $54,3004 for three-people households
  • $65,5005 for four-person households
  • $76,7006 for five-person households
  • $87,9007 for six-person households
  • $99,1008 for seven-person households
  • $110,300 for households with 8 or more people, plus + $11,200 per additional family member