California Parents May be Eligible for $500 Monthly Payment

By: David Donovan | Published: Jun 03, 2024

Guardians and parents of kids younger than four in the city of Pomona, California, can apply to receive an installment of $500 each month under a new guaranteed pay program.

The program, the City of Pomona Household Universal Grants Program (HUG), will be financed with $2.4 million from the city through the American Rescue Plan Act.

Pomona HUG Launch

The Pomona HUG will launch online on June 17 and will be controlled through the city of Pomona and FORWARD, an association that has overseen comparative activities in other Southern California urban communities.

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Buildings on the campus of Diamond Ranch High School, Pomona, California, USA, the building is very modern with lots of sharp angles

US Library of Congress

Pomona locals will be eligible for the regularly scheduled installments when the program begins. The installments will then be offered every month for 18 months starting in July.

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Random Selection

In all, 600 qualified candidates will be randomly chosen by lottery to participate in the program and will be put into one of two cohorts. 

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Pomona, California, Southern Pacific station used for Amtrak and as a regional transportation center.

Flickr user Ron Reiring

A 250-member group will receive $500 per month alongside “additional resources and support services in Pomona and through Los Angeles County.”

Control and Test Groups

Another 350 individuals will be chosen as a control group which will get a $20 regularly scheduled installment and will be observed by specialists, who will contrast them with the first group.

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Royce Hall, UCLA's landmark building, stands in the midst of a glorious post-rain sky.

Wikimedia Commons user Alton

The two cohorts will be able to receive an additional $50 in bonuses if they partake in studies given by the University of California, Los Angeles, or UCLA. 

Benefits of the Program

Members in both groups will be offered free benefits guidance and resource navigation services as a component of the program.

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Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Democrats in Congress held an enrollment ceremony for H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act

Flickr user Senate Democrats

The program is possible through the American Rescue Plan Act which was passed by the Biden administration in 2021 to aid in the country’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for the payment you must be a resident in the city of Pomona, be 18 or older, parent/legal guardian of a child under 4 and agree to Informed Research Consent.

Lab assistant testing COVID swab, they are in blue protective gear with blue gloves on.

Unsplash user JC Gellidon

Alongside this, you must also meet one of the following: experienced negative impact due to COVID-19, reside within a qualified census tract, currently receiving benefits, or have an Area Median Income at or below 65%.

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City Mayor Makes Statement

According to a news release from the mayor of Pomona, Tim Sandoval: “Through the Pomona HUG, we are taking a significant step towards nurturing our community’s future by supporting Pomona families with children under the age of four.”

Mayor Tim Sandoval with wife and child, they are sitting on a blanket outside in dusk.

X user MayorSandoval

He went on to say: “Parenthood often comes with unique challenges, and the HUG Program aims to alleviate some of these burdens by investing in the well-being of our families and the future of Pomona.”

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Lottery Proceedings

The lottery determining how candidates will be divided into the two groups will happen on July 10. A survey period between July 10 and August 1 will follow this decision.

Lottery balls reflected on a surface, they are all in black except for one in blue centered.

Unsplash user Alejandro Garay

Between July 12 and August 6, parents and guardians will be welcome to meet with advisors. Chosen candidates will be informed of their selection in the program on August 12. 

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Payment Plan

On August 16 the first payments will be issued and will be retrievable via a reloadable debit card courtesy of MoCaFi by August 26.

Brown wallet propped up with three cards visible coming out of the slots

Unsplash user Stephen Phillips

MoCaFi, short for Mobility Capital Finance, is used by the government and philanthropic organizations in order to facilitate payments to those in need.

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Document Submissions

To verify your eligibility in the program you must provide a recent utility bill, current lease agreement/mortgage statement, current property tax bill, valid license, or recent government/city correspondence.

Stacks of documents in an office with lots of post-it notes protruding from them

Unsplash user Wesley Tingey

If the parents of the child under four live in separate households and have shared custody both parents may apply for the program as long as they meet the other requirements.

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Appeals Process

Following a denial notification, some applicants may be eligible for an appeal depending on the denial reason.

Computer showing an email inbox, it is the top left corner of the screen

Unsplash user Stephen Phillips

The Appeals Process will be outlined in the denial appeal at which point you will have two calendar days to contest the denial from receiving the email notification.

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Assurance of Privacy Policy

The FORWARD Platform who are involved in the initiative have assured applicants that their “information will not be shared with the city of Pomona or any other government agency”

Members of FORWARD Platform at Microsoft’s Global Nonprofit Summit, they are on a stage, there are five of them, and some of the crowd is visible.

X user FWD_platform

The information that is provided to UCLA “will be used to better understand the effects of income based programs” according to their website.

The program has the potential to aid the lives of parents in Pomona and could be implemented on a broader scale if successful.

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