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Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

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* Application to launch late January or early February *

Guaranteed Income Pilot Program

Embrace Mothers is a guaranteed income pilot program for the City of Birmingham. We are partnering with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income to launch Embrace Mothers. Approved by Birmingham City Council, the program will give 110 Birmingham residents $375 a month over a 12-month period. The City of Birmingham is a partner in this pilot and would not be responsible for the selection of applicants. If you have any further questions, please reference the pilot FAQ below.

To learn more about Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, go to

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Embrace Mothers and how is it funded? 

Embrace Mothers is a pilot program in partnership with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a network of mayors advocating for guaranteed income to give Americans an income floor. Mayor Randall L. Woodfin took the pledge to join MGI’s effort. The city received a $500,000 grant to execute the pilot. Additional funds from the City of Birmingham support the administration of the pilot.  

Research on the pilot program will be conducted by MGI’s partner, Abt Associates. 

What is a guaranteed income? 

A guaranteed income is a monthly, no-strings-attached, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no work requirements. The foundational idea behind a guaranteed income is that everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs. A guaranteed income is intended to supplement, not replace, existing benefits.  

Who is eligible to participate in the Embrace Mothers pilot? 

 Those eligible will be female-identifying heads of family caring for at least one child under the age of 18. Single-mother households represent about 60% of all City of Birmingham households with children. 

 Embrace Mothers will only be available to City of Birmingham residents.

How much money will be given? 

Residents selected to participate would receive $375 a month for 12 months. 

 How many participants will be selected? 

110 people will be randomly selected by Abt Associates to receive a monthly guaranteed income payment.  

An additional 132 control group participants will be selected by Abt Associates. These individuals will not receive a monthly guaranteed income payment, but will be invited to complete surveys throughout the duration of the pilot to inform our understanding of the pilot’s impact. Control group participants will be compensated by Abt Associates for survey completion. 

Is there an income requirement to participate? 

There are no income or work requirements to participate.  

How can I apply? 

The application process will take place January – February 2022. An exact date has not yet been determined. Check here for updates on dates and application instructions.

How are participants selected? 

Abt Associates maintains the pilot application and will randomly select participants.  The city does not have authority over the selection process and will not be privy to individual applicant data and information.  

Can I participate in Embrace Mothers and still receive other public benefits? 

Guaranteed income payments are classified as a gift. Pilot participation may impact some, but not all, of participants’ public benefits. Prior to committing to participating, all recipients will be offered benefits counseling to decide if participation is best for their specific situation.  

When will I find out if I am selected, and when will I start receiving payments? 

Once Abt Associates completes the random selection process, the list of selected participants will be shared with East Lake Initiative and with the Penny Foundation, the city’s partners in administering the pilot. East Lake Initiative will reach out to selected participants to inform them of their selection and to schedule a required one-on-one onboarding session. Selection, onboarding and payment dates have not yet been announced.

Benefit recipients will receive 12 months of guaranteed income payments following the completion of onboarding. 

 In what format will I receive my payments: cash, check, or debit card?  

The Penny Foundation is administering the guaranteed income payments on behalf of the city, in partnership with MoCaFi. Participants will receive a Mastercard-backed MoCaFi debit card that will be loaded with $375 per month for 12 months. The card can be used anywhere debit cards are accepted, including ATMs that accept Mastercard (fees may apply). No-fee ATM withdrawals will be available at all Wells Fargo ATMs and AllPoint Network ATMs (such as Dollar General, CVS, Rite Aid, 7 Eleven.) 

 Will participants’ identities be publicly disclosed? 

The program will not disclose the identities of the participants publicly.