Source: Ervins Strauhmanis/Flickr

It appears New York City is testing out a new program to put money back in the pockets of low income earners, offering up to $2,000 a year for the next three years.

Paycheck Plus is a program sponsored by the NYC Center for Economic Opportunity, and offers enrollees a 50-50 chance of receiving up to $2,000 after filing taxes. The qualifications are pretty straightforward:

  • File taxes as a single adult
  • Do not claim children on your tax return
  • Earned less than $30,000 in the past year from work or self-employment or if you were unemployed
  • Are age 21 to 64
  • Have a social security number
  • Live in New York City

To get enrolled, you can call the Food Bank Paycheck Plus Program at (646) 981-6111.

The program is modeled after the the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which provides up to $6,000 a year to low-income working families. The problem with the EITC is that, while it helps families out of the ruts, it doesn’t do much for single tax filers, who can only receive a maximum of $487.

A fact sheet on Paycheck Plus calls the EITC “the most successful antipoverty program in the U.S.” for families, and the Paycheck Plus program is built to translate that success to low earning single people in New York City.

The three-year pilot program will offer participants up to $2,000 a year from 2015 to 2017. To measure its success, they’re now signing up 6,000 participants, with 3,000 to receive the benefits and another 3,000 to serve as a control group, and will be checking in on them throughout the pilot program.

Update (10:50 a.m.): The program’s webpage was updated after this post was written, noting that they’re now particularly interested in applicants with children under the age of 19 who do not live with them.

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