Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants
Relief Funds for Undocumented Workers in California
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund–Cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers and more who need the money they aren’t getting to survive.
USBG National Charity Foundation – Bartenders, or the spouse or child of a bartender who have experienced an emergency hardship. Applications are reviewed the week of the 15th of each month (exceptions may be made during times of natural disaster or other crisis events)
Another Round, Another Rally Emergency Assistance – $500 relief grants. Workers in the hospitality industry, dishwasher, bartender, server, busser, chef, cook, sommelier, manager, host, concierge, cleaning staff, or barback may apply for funds.
National Domestic Workers Alliance Coronavirus Care Fund – The Coronavirus Care Fund will provide emergency assistance for home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners. If you are a domestic worker, text RELIEF to 97779 to get updates from NDWA, and find out when the Coronavirus Care Fund applications are ready.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation – Emergency assistance for those employed by restaurants or bars or are employed by a restaurant or bar supplier
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
All USCIS field offices, asylum offices, and Application Support Centers (ASCs) will not provide in-person services (including interviews, naturalization ceremonies, and biometric collection appointments) until at least April 1. USCIS will continue to provide emergency services during this time. Emergency service requests can be made USCIS Contact Center.
USCIS field offices will send re-scheduling notices to applicants and petitioners with scheduled appointments impacted by the closure. All applicants will be rescheduled when USCIS resumes normal operations. Please make sure USCIS has your current address; if your address has changed, you are required to update USCIS using Form AR-11, which can be submitted online.
Immigration Enforcement Activity
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released a statement describing its intention to “not carry out enforcement operations at or near health care facilities, such as hospitals, doctors' offices, accredited health clinics, and emergent or urgent care facilities, except in the most extraordinary of circumstances.” The statement also says that “Individuals should not avoid seeking medical care because they fear civil immigration enforcement.”
Real ID Act
The Department of Homeland Security is extending the REAL ID enforcement deadline beyond the current October 1, 2020 deadline to October 1, 2021.
Testing for COVID-19 and Healthcare Access
Everyone, regardless of immigration status, is eligible for testing and treatment of communicable diseases, including coronavirus.
COVID-19 testing and treatment is not considered a negative factor in the public charge analysis. See USCIS’ statement here.
COVID-19 testing is entirely free for anyone, regardless of health care coverage status or immigration status.
If you are enrolled in a health plan, it is important that you and your family get the care you need! If you are not insured and need medical care, you have other options:
Medi-Cal re-eligibility determinations have been waived through June 17.
Look for a public hospital or community health clinic near you with free or low-cost health care services (you can search this website for a center near you).
To learn more about your health care coverage options, look here.
For more information on your legal health rights, see Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information by the Health Consumer Alliance, Protect Your Health by the Protecting Immigrant Families, and Access to Health Care for Immigrants by National Immigration Law Center.
Cash and Food Assistance (Food Banks, CalWORKS, and CalFresh)
See if you or your children qualify for CalWORKS, a cash assistance program with other services, or CalFresh, food and nutrition services, so that you can get supplemental assistance during this time.
Unfortunately, most undocumented immigrants, TPS recipients, and DACA recipients generally are not eligible for CalFresh or CalWORKS, but there are exceptions.
Even if you don't qualify due to your immigration status, your children may qualify if they are US citizens or have lawful status. These benefits could help your family during this time.
Re-eligibility determinations for those who currently receive CalWORKS and/or CalFresh benefits have been waived through June 17.
You do not have to provide your immigration status if you are undocumented and are applying for these benefits for your children or family member.
Only the person seeking benefits must provide their citizenship or immigration status. If you are applying on behalf of an eligible family member, such as your child, you only need to share the information for that family member. If you are undocumented and apply for a family member, you should not provide any information about your immigration status. Instead, you can say, "I am not applying for health insurance for myself."
For a complete guide to workers' rights and replacement earnings, visit this guide.
If your employer has reduced your hours or stopped operations due to coronavirus, you may be able to file an Unemployment Insurance (UI) claim. You may also be eligible for UI payments if your child’s school or daycare is closed and you have to miss work to care for them.
To be eligible for UI, you must 1) have had work authorization during the time you earned the wages used to establish your claim and 2) still have work authorization each week in which you are claiming benefits. California allows DACA recipients with unexpired work permits to apply for UI benefits if they meet all other eligibility criteria.
California has waived the usual one-week unpaid waiting period for people missing work due to coronavirus. You can collect UI payments for the first week you are out of work.
Paid Sick Leave
If your employer provides paid sick leave, and you cannot work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, as certified by a medical professional, you can use your accrued paid sick leave to continue being paid for the time you miss work. You may also be eligible for Disability Insurance (see below).
Your employer should provide you with the number of paid sick days you have accrued.
Citizenship and immigration status does not affect eligibility for paid sick leave.
California State Disability Insurance (SDI)
If you cannot work due to having or being exposed to COVID-19, as certified by a medical professional, you may be able to file a Disability Insurance (DI) claim.
Citizenship and immigration status does not affect eligibility for DI.
California has waived the usual one-week unpaid waiting period for people missing work due to coronavirus. You can collect DI payments for the first week you are out of work.
California State Paid Family Leave (PFL)
If you cannot work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19, as certified by a medical professional, you may be able to file a Paid Family Leave (PFL) claim.
Citizenship and immigration status does not affect eligibility for PFL.
PFL does not have a waiting period for benefits.
If eligible, you can receive PFL payments for up to 6 weeks.
If you are unable to do your usual job because you contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work, you may be able to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits such as temporary disability payments or medical treatment.
Citizenship and immigration status does not affect eligibility for workers’ compensation.
Protections for Tenants
In California, a landlord may not force a tenant to leave the rental unit without written notices and a court order. A three-day notice simply starts a process that may well take over a month to finish. Do not believe a landlord who is threatening immediate action.
Even though most K-12 schools have closed, many school districts will continue providing meals Monday through Friday for any child, regardless of free or reduced eligibility or school of attendance. Meals are typically provided in a drive-through format and children must be present in order for meals to be provided. Citizenship and immigration status does not affect eligibility for school meals. Please visit the school district website for any announcements or information about school meals during school closures.
Census 2020 is here! In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it is still crucial to complete the census to make sure your community is accurately counted and receives the resources it needs. Some households are now receiving census forms via postal mail from the Census Bureau containing a unique 12-digit Census ID.
Census participation takes roughly 10 minutes and can easily be completed:
Online by visiting 2020census.gov (Support in various languages)
Over the phone by calling 844-330-2020 (Support in various languages)
Returning by mail the paper questionnaire containing your unique 12-digit Census ID
You can prevent Census Bureau takers and field representatives from coming to your door by completing the census via online, phone, or mail as early as possible. The 2020 census will not ask about citizenship or immigration status. The Census Bureau does not share any personally identifiable information with any other agency, including federal immigration authorities. This information is kept confidential under law.
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