Illinois Nonprofits Launch Campaign to Boost Access to Stimulus Payments amid COVID-19 Pandemic

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Coalition Helping Vulnerable Populations in Illinois Secure Vital Economic Impact Payments

A coalition of Illinois nonprofits announced the launch of the “Get My Payment Illinois” campaign, aimed at helping Illinoisans access federal economic impact payments (EIPs) more quickly and efficiently during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The campaign is focused on ensuring that low-income, unbanked, and vulnerable populations across Illinois have the resources and guidance they need to easily obtain stimulus funds during a time of economic hardship across the country. These payments stem from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and included provisions providing a direct EIP of up to $1,200 for eligible Americans.

“Federal economic impact payments are providing real financial relief in the midst of the current crisis,” said Christine Cheng, Executive Director of Ladder Up. “However, getting these critical funds quickly or even at all is challenging for many people across Illinois, including many populations that need it most. Our coalition is working to help these vulnerable groups clear the hurdles that stand in the way of the financial relief they deserve,” Cheng said.

“We want to make sure that every Chicagoan takes advantage of the benefits they’ve earned during this crisis, and we’re grateful to this Coalition for their work in making that easier,” said Dan Lurie, Chief of Policy for the City of Chicago. “For those that need help with accessing their stimulus payment or accessing resources like a bank account to take advantage of faster payments, this is going to be a great resource.”

The coalition has launched the website, GetMyPaymentIL.org, which helps users determine if they are eligible for an EIP and how they can take action to get the payment. The website also features resources to help users set up a bank account to receive the EIP through direct deposit and file their taxes.

“I applaud this coalition coming together to provide these resources to the most vulnerable Illinoisans in their time of need,” said Chasse Rehwinkel, Acting Director of the Illinois Division of Banking. “We look forward to continuing our work with this coalition to make sure we are helping as many people as possible during this time.”

The coalition is also deploying an EIP hotline in early May to be monitored by volunteers who can answer questions related to the economic impact payments and safe banking options. Connecting Illinoisans to affordable bank accounts will help families receive the EIP more quickly and save money on check cashing and other fees over time. Additionally, the group will launch an out-of-home public information campaign to educate Illinoisans about these resources.

The coalition’s lead partners are Ladder Up, the Economic Awareness Council, Heartland Alliance, Heartland Human Care Services, New America, and Woodstock Institute. Other coalition members include Bank On Chicago, the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, Economic Security for Illinois, the Illinois Asset Building Group, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and United Way of Metropolitan Chicago.

More information on the campaign can be found at GetMyPaymentIL.org.

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