Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


LA County New Guaranteed Basic Income Program Will Give 1,000 Eligible Residents $1K A Month For 3 Years

An aerial photo of the Port of Los Angeles
Parts of San Pedro and Long Beach, seen here from the air, are among the areas of L.A. County where residents may be qualified to apply for a $1,000 per month guaranteed basic income.
(Daniel Slim
AFP via Getty Images)
We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

Los Angeles County has announced a guaranteed basic income program for adults living in select neighborhoods.

The program is called Breathe. It's open to 1,000 residents who've taken a financial hit due to the pandemic and:

  • Live in a neighborhood in L.A. "that falls at or below 100% of the Median Household Income for the area" (see map below)
  • Have an annual household income of no more than $56,000 for one person (see the full scale for household eligibility below)
A table shows the upper limits on household income as $56,000 for a single person up to $126,700 for a household of eight.
(Courtesy L.A. County CEO's office)
Support for LAist comes from

Of eligible applicants, 1,000 will be randomly selected to receive $1,000 a month for three years, with a limit of one pilot participant per household. Researchers will study the long-term impacts a guaranteed basic income has on residents' economic well being.

The deadline to apply is April 13.

L.A. County Supervisors Holly Mitchell and Sheila Kuehl introduced the motion to create the program last year. Poverty and access to economic opportunity, they said, are both public health matters.

With Breathe, Mitchell is hoping for "life-changing" results.

"People who unfortunately kind of live on the edge of a financial cliff every day, don't often have the luxury to do to save and plan for their future, or really invest in themselves," Mitchell said. "Because that's what it takes to really pull your family out of multi generational poverty."

Assessing the effectiveness of the the pilot program will be done in partnership with the University of Pennsylvania's Center for Guaranteed Income Research. The idea is to give participants a "chance to 'breathe' easier knowing they are more financially secure."

The group that gets the $1,000 a month will be compared to another group of 1,200 residents who do not get that guaranteed income.

Breathe comes on the heels of a few universal basic income programs launched late last year in South L.A. and another in the summer of 2021 in Long Beach. Mitchell said Breathe's timeline of three years makes it the longest pilot program in the country.

She says the research aims to figure out how much money it takes for people to change the trajectory of their lives.

Support for LAist comes from

In 2019, Stockton was one of two U.S. cities testing a basic income program for its residents. Two years later, results show the extra $500 monthly payments — over a span of two years — improved residents' jobs prospects, health and economic wellbeing.

To see if you qualify or for more information, visit
or call (213) 342-1003.

What questions do you have about Southern California?

Most Read