Obtaining Public Benefits
Ukrainians who have received or are eligible to receive humanitarian parole in the USA (also participants of the Uniting for Ukraine – U4U program) between February 24, 2022, and September 30, 2023, are entitled to receive certain federal assistance during the period of validity of their humanitarian parole. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the following benefits are available to Ukrainians in California: Medi-Cal health insurance, CalWorks financial assistance, and CalFresh food assistance.
What Cash Benefits May be Available for me?
California Work Opportunities and Responsibilities for Kids (CalWorks)
CalWORKs is a public assistance program that provides cash aid and services to eligible families that have a child(ren) in the home.
If a family has little or no cash and needs housing, food, utilities, clothing, or medical care, they may be eligible to receive immediate short-term help. Families that apply and qualify for ongoing assistance receive monthly money to help pay for housing, food and other necessary expenses.
The amount of a family's monthly assistance payment depends on several factors, including the number of eligible people and the special needs of any of those family members. The family's income is considered in calculating the amount of cash aid the family receives.
Specific eligibility requirements include an applicant's citizenship, age, income, resources, assets, and other factors. Generally, services are available to:
- Families that have a child(ren) in the home who has been deprived of parental support or care because of the absence, disability or death of either parent.
- Families with a child(ren) when both parents are in the home but the principal earner is unemployed.
- Needy caretaker relatives of a foster child(ren).
Refugee cash assistance (RCA)
RCA is a cash assistance program for refugees who are not otherwise eligible for any other cash aid. RCA also includes employment and other social services to assist a refugee in becoming self-sufficient.
The population that could be eligible for the RCA encompasses all of the following groups: Refugees, Asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, Afghan and Ukrainian Parolees, Amerasians, and Certified Victims of human trafficking.
RCA is available for up to 12 months from the date of admission to the U.S. in qualifying status, date of final grant of asylum, or date of certification by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) as a Victim of Trafficking.
Victims of human trafficking may be eligible for additional services before being certified by the ORR as Victims of Trafficking. Visit the TCVAP webpage to find out more.
Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)
CAPI is a 100 percent state-funded program designed to provide monthly cash benefits to aged, blind, and disabled non-citizens who are ineligible for SSI/SSP solely due to their immigrant status. The welfare reform act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) eliminated Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) eligibility for most non-citizens. As a result, most immigrants who were not receiving SSI/SSP in August 1996 are no longer eligible for SSI/SSP.
In order to qualify you must:
- Meet all other SSI/SSP eligibility criteria except for immigration status;
- Be aged, blind, or disabled;
- Be a resident of California;
- Have resources below the allowable limits of $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, and
- Have income less than the CAPI standards
Be a non-citizen and meet the immigration status criteria in effect for SSI/SSP as of 8/21/96.
Be ineligible for SSI/SSP solely due to immigration status. This means a CAPI applicant must apply for SSI/SSP or submit other proof of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration.
CAPI payment amounts vary depending on a person's marital status, living arrangements and other income. CAPI payment standards are equivalent to the amount of SSI/SSP benefits.
CalFresh Program (Food Stamps)
CalFresh is for low-income people who meet federal income eligibility rules and want to add to their budget to put healthy and nutritious food on the table.
How to Apply?
You can contact Ukrainian American House and we will provide you necessary assistance at +1(916) 201-0101 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
The application process for benefits in California is handled by the Department of Human Assistance. This department provides all of its services free of charge and usually has an interpreter on staff to help you get information and submit your application.
Apply online at BenefitsCal. To apply in person or to find out more about RCA benefits in your county, please contact your county social services agency or go to https://www.cdss.ca.gov/calworks