Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants Application Instructions

In order to apply for CAPI, you will be required to fill many forms. However, if you know about these forms and understand basic eligibility criteria for CAPI, you should not have any issues while applying for CAPI.

You can apply for CAPI through County Welfare Department. It is not possible to apply online.

Anyone applying for CAPI should also apply for SSI. In order to qualify for CAPI, one has to provide proof of making a SSI application six months prior to filing application for CAPI. If someone has not applied for SSI but is seeking CAPI eligibility, they will have to apply for SSI first. However, persons residing under the color of law (PRUCOL) need not to apply for SSI.

CAPI eligibility can be based on age, blindness, or disability. Applicants can base their eligibility on more than one of these.

The Process

Here is the entire process for filing an application for CAPI:

  • Apply at County Welfare Office. You can find information about County Welfare Office for your county by clicking here.
  • Sign the application
  • Submit application to CAPI Eligibility Worker (EW)
  • File for Medi-Cal to qualify for eligibility criteria that is same for both benefits. You may not qualify for both at the same time, but if you meet eligibility criteria in Medi-Cal that is also required by CAPI, you won't have to prove pass any other test for such eligibility criteria
  • Submit documents and information asked by Eligibility Worker
  • Pursue and apply for any other cash assistance programs that you may qualify for
  • Learn about CAPI eligibility and other requirements
  • Learn about your rights under the program
  • Provide permission to investigate for determining initial eligibility

If there is a change in your citizenship or immigration status, you should report it the authorities at the earliest.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Age: Immigrants aged 65 and above but have been refused SSI benefits due to immigrant status can apply for CAPI. No additional verification is required if applicant has received SSI/SSP or Title II Social Security due to age. Similarly, if an applicant is receiving MEDI-CAL because of age, there will be no additional verification needed. Immigrants under 65 years of age can also become eligible to CAPI if they meet disability and other criteria.
  • Blindness and Disability: California State Disability and Adult Programs Division (DAPD) determines status. However, EW determines Presumptive Disability for applicants. Such disability should prevent applicant from working and it should be severe enough to end in death.
  • Residence: Applicant should be residing in California and should not remain outside the country for a complete calendar month at the time of filing an application.
  • Income: Applicant's should not exceed monthly CAPI benefits after certain amounts are disregarded.
  • Resources: Applicant should not have more than $2,000 in resources, in case of one person while $3,000 for couples.
  • Residency: Applicant should not be living in a public institution for a month or more. To apply for CAPI, one has to be living in California

Determination of Disability

Blindness and disability: EW will require applicant's physician to provide Medical Verification of Disability by filling form CAPI 102. For applicants without a physician, EW can refer to Country Department of Health Services. Applicants with GR Health Care Program will be sent to the program for determination of disability or blindness.

Once a receipt of CAPI 102 is received from physician, it is sent to DAPD along with these forms:

  • MC 220
  • MC 221
  • MC 223

Once the forms have reached the State and it has verified blindness or disability, immigrant can have CAPI approval.

Date of entry: Pre-august 22, 1996 immigrants and post-august 21, 1996 immigrants are two different classes of immigrants for the purpose of CAPI.

Pre-August 22, 1996 immigrants

Immigrants entering United States before August 22, 1996 must meet one of the following criteria to qualify for CAPI:

  • A person was residing lawfully in the U.S on 8/21/96, is 65 years of age or older, and falls under the legal definition of qualified alien
  • Victims of abuse and battery under Violence Against Women Act (with USCIS status) and falling under the legal definition of qualified alien
  • Immigrants not meeting the definition of qualified aliens but are disabled, blind or aged but are permanent residents of U.S under PRUCOL

Post-August 22, 1996 immigrants

Immigrants entering United States after August 22, 1996 must meet one of the following criteria to qualify for CAPI:

  • Qualified aliens who are blind, aged, or disabled and their sponsor is dead or disabled. An immigrant may qualify if a sponsor is abusive.
  • Qualified aliens having BCIS status due to abuse/battery under WAWA

Documents that may be needed to determine eligibility of applicants

You may be required to provide following documents in order to prove eligibility for CAPI

  • Social security number
  • Identification
  • Sponsorship
  • Immigration status

Who is not eligible?

The following persons are not eligible to apply for CAPI:

  • U.S citizens
  • Residents of public institution for a month or more
  • A person who has a record of avoiding prosecution through escape, or other means, and where such crime is considered a felony under the law
  • A person who has a record of violating a condition in parole or probation
  • A person who has not been in the U.S for a month or more

What will affect CAPI eligibility?

When applying for CAPI, many things will affect your eligibility. Here is what you need to be careful about

  • Your pending SSI/SSP application status does not affect CAPI eligibility
  • Your eligibility status regarding other programs will affect CAPI eligibility
  • If you are refused from a cash assistance program because of failure to comply with requirements of the program, you are automatically ineligible for CAPI
  • If you are refused or your cash assistance program was terminated due to some other reason, you may qualify for CAPI

Eligibility Forms

You will be required to complete the CAPI application found here (SOC 814). Once completed, the form should be delivered to your local social services office. You can find a list of all the county offices here. From there, a county eligibility worker will get in touch with you and may ask to provide more information.

Benefits of CAPI

  • Only $10 less ($20 less for couples) than a SSI and SSP payment
  • If you are CAPI eligible, you may be eligible for Medi-Cal, Food Stamp, and In-Home Supportive Services. You can even be eligible for all these benefits at the same time