When gig workers received no-strings-attached emergency cash grants up to $1,000, they were able to get back to work quicker after an emergency, felt less stressed, and, in some instances, got on track toward new financial goals, like saving to be able to cover future emergency expenses.

Those findings come from a new study by The Workers Lab, an organization that funds experiments and innovations to build power for low-wage working people, and Commonwealth, a 501(c)(3) aimed at helping struggling Americans become financially secure. The study looked at the impact of the Workers Strength Fund, a pilot in which gig workers could receive one or more grants, totaling $1,000, over the course of 2019.

“The crux of [this pilot] is a sense that sometimes just solving the problem in a fast way, that signals trust and confidence in the person who’s in crisis, is something we haven’t really done so much in this country, either in the public safety net or in the context of the workplace,” says Timothy Flacke, cofounder and executive director of Commonwealth.

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