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DES MOINES, Iowa — How much difference can an additional $500 per month for two years mean to an Iowa family? Uplift Iowa aims to find out. “Creating the opportunity for people to not just survive but to thrive,” said Ashley Ezzio, the senior project coordinator.

Local governments, non-profits, researchers and private donors teamed up to launch the project, which was announced Wednesday at the Harkin Institute in Des Moines.

Starting February 17th, families can sign up for the chance to get selected to take part in the basic income pilot project. The program is available to families in three counties — Polk, Dallas and Warren. The program has income limits. For example, the maximum annual income for a family of four is $59,190.

Find out income guidelines and to sign up to try to participate in the pilot at

Project organizers plan to randomly select 110 families to receive the $6,000 annual stipend from those who sign up. Researchers will then compare the outcomes of those families with others who don’t receive the stipend. Researchers want to know if the additional income will positively impact a family’s health, education and work achievement, along with overall well-being.