Municipal IDs Offer Cities Lessons for COVID-19 Cash Assistance Programs

Sharing lessons for establishing smooth cash assistance programs during the pandemic

This study looks at examples of more than 70 city- and county-led municipal identification initiatives (active, inactive, and proposed) that sought to address challenges residents face in obtaining government-issued forms of identification. For marginalized and vulnerable populations—such as the undocumented, those experiencing homelessness, and the elderly—a lack of official identification makes everyday tasks like accessing social services or opening a bank account difficult.

Cities that have established these programs, particularly those that have sought to leverage them to advance financial inclusion, provide several lessons to cities facing similar challenges while establishing cash assistance programs in response to COVID-19.

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By Tess Johnson , Eric Noggle