Twelve California Nonprofit Organizations can Assist Undocumented Workers with Coronavirus (COVID-19) Disaster Relief Funds

More than two million undocumented workers do not qualify for federal COVID-19 related assistance, such as the CARES Act stimulus checks or unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. In California and many other states, undocumented workers make up a large percentage of essential workers, working in manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, and food services. Despite risking their lives everyday to provide services to U.S. citizens and contributing $2.5 billion to state and local taxes, undocumented workers do not qualify for federal pandemic relief funds. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, California is providing a one-time state-funded disaster relief fund—the first of its kind—to undocumented workers who have experienced hardship as a result of COVID-19. The $75 million in direct assistance and $50 million stemming from philanthropic partners will be distributed to individuals with approved applications beginning on May 18, 2020. The funding is limited, not guaranteed, and will be granted until the funding is spent or until June 30, 2020, at the latest. This disaster relief assistance will help approximately 150,000 undocumented workers in California.

The California Department of Social Services has selected twelve nonprofit organizations to help individuals apply for and receive disaster relief assistance in their region. An individual is eligible for direct relief assistance by if they (1) are over the age of 18 and undocumented; (2) are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, such as the CARES Act or unemployment benefits; and, (3) have experienced a hardship as a result of the Coronavirus. Qualified and approved individuals can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1,000 in assistance per household, to help with needs arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

These twelve nonprofit organizations can assist undocumented workers with the application process, confirm their eligibility, and distribute a payment card to approved applicants:

  • California Human Development Corporation
  • Catholic Charities of California
  • Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP)
  • Community Action Board Santa Cruz
  • United Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF)
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF)
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights - CHIRLA
  • Central American Resource Center – CARECEN
  • San Bernardino Community Service Center
  • TODEC Legal Center Perris
  • Jewish Family Service of San Diego

The nonprofit organizations will only provide general demographic information (e.g. age, gender, preferred language, etc.) to the State of California about applicants, but no personal information (e.g. name, address, etc.) will be given to any government agency. The contact information and region/counties for the twelve nonprofit organizations can be found here.

More information on the California disaster relief fund for immigrants can be found here, and information on the California disaster relief fund for immigrants in Spanish can be found here.

By:  Amara Blades | May 22, 2020

Legal Developments