Guaranteed Income vs Universal Basic Income

“Guaranteed income” refers to a regular cash payment accessible to certain members of a community, with no strings attached (ie, unconditional). Guaranteed income redistributes wealth to people who need it most and who’ve historically been impacted by lack of opportunities—largely people of color.

In contrast, Universal Basic Income (UBI) refers to all people getting a set amount of regular cash regardless of their income or need.

Guaranteed income helps build a consistent, predictable floor under which no one can fall. It is meant to supplement, not supplant existing social safety net benefits. It is based on trust and respect for recipients with a fundamental commitment to preserving the freedom of choice and dignity of individuals. The concept has been championed as a means of ending poverty, reducing social inequalities, and promoting gender and racial equity.

There are nearly 100 guaranteed income demonstration pilots, with more emerging every month, all over the country. With the launch of Arlington’s Guarantee in 2021, we are now part of that movement! Visit the Arlington’s Guarantee landing page to learn more about this exciting new initiative, as well as examples of successful guaranteed income pilots from around the country.