Diverse Learners Recovery Fund for Students With Disabilities

We encourage Chicago families of students with disabilities to apply for a chance to receive a one-time financial assistance payment.

54%Funds Delivered
4,340+Approved Applications
$500 per student, two students maximum per household
Up to $1,000 per household
What is the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund?
The Diverse Learners Recovery Fund is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities and Ada S. McKinley Community Services, Inc., dedicated to aiding families of students with disabilities affected by COVID-19. It operates as a lottery-style grant drawing, offering a one-time cash grant of $500 to eligible K-12 students with disabilities. Up to 8,000 applicants will be selected through the lottery to receive the grant. Submitting an eligible application does not guarantee you will receive the funds.
Learn more about the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund in this video.
Eligibility Requirements
Reside in the City of Chicago You live in Chicago and have a picture ID with a valid address or a picture ID plus a document that shows your name and current Chicago address. See the list of acceptable documents:
  • Driver’s licenses
  • State ID
  • Passport
  • City Key ID
  • Military ID
  • Consulate ID
  • Utility Bill, Bank or Credit Card Statement
  • Other documents may be accepted
Have a Student With a Disability You have legal guardianship over a Chicago student enrolled in K-12th grade who has a disability. See the list of acceptable documents:
  • Individual Educational Plan (IEP)
  • 504 Plan
  • Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) determination letter
  • Doctor's Note on an official letterhead providing verification of a disability
  • Other official documents verifying disability may be accepted
Meet Household Income Limit Your total household income should be less than or equal to 300% of the federal poverty level:
  • 2022 or 2023 tax returns
  • 2023 W-2s
  • Public Aid Determination Letter (SNAP, TANF, etc.)
  • Award Letter for Social Security Income (SSI) or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
  • Pension/Annuity Income
  • Paycheck stubs covering 30 days
  • Employer's letter on official letterhead
  • Unemployment Benefit
  • Child Support Documents
  • VA Benefits
  • Verified enrollment in Federal Free or Reduced Priced Lunch program
  • Other documents may be acccepted
The Diverse Learners Recovery Fund Timeline

The Diverse Learners Recovery Fund Application will be open through 10/30/24.

Recipients of the Diverse Learners Recovery Fund will be chosen through a lottery system. Only applications that have completed the verification process and found eligible will be able to participate in the lottery. The time period to verify the eligibility of applications will depend on the number of applications received at any given time. There will be a total of three lottery drawings which will occur on the following dates:

  • 7/1/2024
  • 9/16/24
  • On or after 11/30/24 (depending on the final number of applications needing to be verified)

Applications verified as eligible that are not chosen in the first or second lottery drawing will have the opportunity to be chosen in subsequent lottery drawings.

Selected applicants will be notified by email and directed to return to the portal to select a payment method.

All verified eligible applicants will be notified of their status following each lottery drawing.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Driver’s licenses
  • State ID
  • Passport
  • CityKey ID
  • Consulate or military ID
  • Utility Bill, Bank or Credit Card Statement
  • Other documents may be accepted

Preferred Documents:

  • SNAP/TANF benefit letter
  • Verified enrollment in the federal Free or Reduced Priced Lunch program (FRPL)

Other Acceptable Documents:

  • 2023 taxes returns
  • W-2s or paystubs *Please include 30 days' worth of pay*

You can submit a copy of various document type as proof for your child’s disability:

  • The Individualized Educational Plan (IEP)
  • 504 Plan
  • Individualized Support Plan (ISP)
  • A doctor’s note providing verification of a disability diagnosis that is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • SSI determination letter

Your SSI will not be affected. For more information, please contact MOPD Benefits Counseling Program at (312) 746-5743.

No, you may spend the money however you want.

No, this is a One-time payment only.

You can have a maximum of 2 applications for 2 students per household.

While you are still signed in on a mobile device scroll up to the top left of the page and click on the 3 horizontal lines (menu button), scroll down to "My Application" and click on "New Application" if you are on a computer scroll to the top and click on "My Application" and click on "New Application".

You do not have to create two separate accounts, you can apply for two students under the same account.

If you don't receive an activation email after registering yourself on the portal, please check your spam or junk folder. Sometimes, automated filters may mistakenly route activation emails there. If found, mark the email as "Not Spam" to ensure future emails are delivered to your inbox.

No, unfortunately, you cannot edit your application after submitting it for verification. This is to maintain the integrity and accuracy of the information within our system. If you need to modify any information, please contact us at mopd@adasmckinley.org or call 312-561-6965, and someone will reset your application so it can be updated and resubmitted.

Contact: Diana Trujillo, dtrujillo@adasmckinley.org

View the Chart:

Yes, there are scheduled outreach events around the city just for these purposes. Please click here to download the outreach calendar to see the list of dates and times.

Contact Us Still have questions or need help? Call us or send an online request and our support will contact you as soon as possible.
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