Did you know? Many immigrants residing in California who are NOT eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) may qualify for monthly cash payments with the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI). Sadly, many eligible individuals do not know about CAPI, or run into barriers when attempting to prove their eligibility. Here is a quick overview of CAPI and how our Benefits Access Support Advocates can assist you to receive these life-changing benefits.
According to the Urban Institute, in 2020, 1 in 6 immigrant families in California did not know they qualify for monthly cash payments through CAPI or were afraid to apply because of their immigration status. Through CAPI, the state of California provides a monthly cash payment to legal immigrants who are low-income seniors, blind, or have a disability but can't get SSI benefits because of their immigration status. This program is 100 percent funded by the state of California.
Ms. Mendez, a 72-year-old Mexican immigrant and Californian resident since 2006, wasn’t aware that she qualified for benefits. She had never worked a day in her life and was a regular client at one of the Help Me Help You food pantries. After one of our Benefit Access Support Advocates, learned Ms. Mendez maintains a low-income status and is a lawful permanent resident, they worked with her to quickly achieve a successful CAPI award in less than 2 months. Ms. Mendez now receives $850 monthly CAPI cash payments, CalFresh dollars (monthly payments on an EBT debit card to purchase groceries and produce) and MediCal (free or low-cost comprehensive health insurance coverage). “God bless Cynthia, my Benefit Access Support Advocate, and the state of California for improving my quality of life with these benefits”, said Ms. Mendez.
Who Can Receive CAPI?
To receive the monthly cash assistance payment from CAPI you must:
Be a California resident
Be 65 or older, blind, or have a disability
Be a legal immigrant – lawful Permanent Resident, Refugee or U-Visa holder
Have limited income and resources, and
Be unable to get federal SSI benefits because of your immigration status (and for no other reason).
How Much Can You Receive & Are There Other Benefits?
CAPI monthly payments are the same amount as the combined SSI and State Supplemental Payment (SSP). For most people, the maximum possible CAPI benefit is $954.72 for an individual and $1,598.14 for a couple. However, if you are blind, the maximum is $1,011.23 for an individual or $1,749.19 for a couple. The maximum benefits amounts paid are determined by your situation. Those that qualify for CAPI are also usually eligible for CalFresh and MediCal benefits.
How Do You Apply For CAPI?
Before CAPI can be granted, individuals must apply for SSI and be denied. It is also important to have the date of entry into the US, Visa documents and other relevant documents to include medical reports, etc. Our expert Benefits Access Support Advocates are multi-lingual (English and Spanish speaking) and ready help you by going above and beyond to achieve the best outcome possible for CAPI/SSI/SSDI, CalFresh & MediCal. Statistically, individuals applying for benefits independently, are less than 40% successful, while Benefit Access Support maintains an 80% success rate of all claims submitted. Start your free case review today at: helpmehelpu.org/bas