ITHACA, N.Y.—Ithaca’s Guaranteed Income pilot program is poised to distribute $450 per month to 110 caregivers in the city for one calendar year, but a hiccup in the application process has caused the city to extend the deadline to apply for enrollment until Tuesday, Dec. 21 at 11:59 p.m.

Previous coverage on the roll-out of the program, and a more detailed view of its parameters, can be found here. As it has been outlined publicly, the program would provide direct cash payments to caregivers who are making below a certain threshold income per year. The application process can be started here.

The city put out a Q&A of sorts on Sunday in the hopes of answering some of the questions that have come along with the new program. At least some of those stemmed from certain questions that were asked during the application process, some of which seemed strangely personal and irrelevant, a possible deterrent to those seeking to join the program. For example, see some of the examples below:

“Some of you have had questions and concerns about the nature of the researchers’ questionnaire and how personal data will be used in the study,” the city stated in a follow-up announcement of the program. “Many of the questions, which have been fully vetted and in use for decades in separate social science research projects across the world, are used to understand the emotional state of people who might not feel as seen, heard or appreciated by their society. Answering those questions might be an upsetting reminder of that.”

But, as the city stated, many applications had been started but not finished—perhaps, in part, because of the unexpected length and scope of the questioning. The city insisted that the questions, though they may appear strange, will help create the most benefit.

“Ultimately, we and the researchers are confident that the anonymous data will help you, your families and your neighbors through well-studied and well-designed guaranteed income programs that do what we need them to do: have measurable and predictable results on our financial and emotional lives,” according to the city’s statement.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com