Computer glitch stalls cash assistance applications


ST. LOUIS ( — A computer glitch delayed some St. Louis residents from completing applications for the city’s Direct Cash Assistance Program Saturday.

The city began accepting applications Saturday for its Direct Cash Assistance Program, which is designed to give 9,300 families $500 each in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Louis City leaders are still sitting on more than $500 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding. It’s money that was given to the city by the federal government nearly six months ago.

The Board of Alderman allocated $5 million of American Rescue Plan Act funding earlier this year.  Several residents reported to New 4 an error message when trying to apply online Saturday.

“If we could have gotten it to people six months ago, we would have loved that, but we know we have processes and procedures to go through. There were some bugs, some kinks in the system,” said St. Louis treasurer Adam Layne at a signup clinic at St. Louis Community College – Forest Park.

Layne said the glitch was resolved in about an hour around 11 a.m. “We were letting people know once you refresh your browser you should be good,” Layne said. “Most of the people that had the issue were here.”

City officials reported 1,103 applied on Saturday. More than 550 applied at the in-person clinic at STLCC Forest Park. 

Applications for a $500 stimulus check will begin Saturday, four months after St. Louis City leaders signed off on spending more than $135 million in federal Covid relief. 

St. Louis resident Michael Nelson applied for the stimulus check at a clinic Saturday.

“It was fair and it was quick and easy,” Nelson said. “I was in there–10 minutes.”

The requirements to apply for the $500 check, are to be a city resident, earn at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income and must have also suffered loss of income due to COVID-19. When you apply, you’ll need proof of residency. This includes a valid state ID or driver’s license as well as something like a utility bill or bank statement. You’ll also need proof of income.

Eligible residents have to have lived in St. Louis for at least a year. Only one person per household is eligible to receive the payment.

City officials say the next in-person clinic will be at the Wohl Center at 1515 N. Kingshighway starting December 20.

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