RIVERSIDE COUNTY. – Low-income immigrants who are at least age 65, or disabled, are encouraged to see if they are eligible to receive monthly cash benefits through a state-funded program.

The Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) provides support to Californians whose immigration status disqualifies them from receiving benefits from Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP).

CAPI applicants may also qualify for other nutrition and health assistance programs such as CalFresh, Medi-Cal and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). Officials say many local households may not know they qualify for CAPI benefits.

“As the pandemic continues imposing financial hardships on so many people, we want to make sure all qualified individuals and households access these resources,” Fourth District Supervisor V. Manuel Perez, chair of the Riverside County Board of Supervisors, said in a prepared statement. “CAPI is a great and useful program for immigrant clients that gives an opportunity for financial assistance to live on their own. Many immigrants are also our frontline workers, whether working in agriculture or taking care of our seniors and children. They, too, need relief.”

California adopted CAPI in 1998 as a way of providing funds to elderly, blind and disabled immigrants after federal rules made it much more difficult for them to qualify for the SSI program. About 14,500 people are currently receiving CAPI statewide, and 635 of them are Riverside County residents.

Payment amounts depend on a recipient’s living arrangements, income and marital status. The maximum benefit for an older adult or disabled single individual living on their own is currently $944. For an older or disabled married couple living independently, the monthly benefit is $1,582.

“We encourage anyone who thinks they may qualify for CAPI to contact us for more information,” said Ryan Uhlenkott, deputy director of the Adults Services Division for the Riverside County Department of Public Social Services. “Our eligibility technicians will be happy to help start an application.”

Immigrants are advised to seek legal counsel if they have concerns about how participating in the program might impact their status.

At this time, applications can be made by calling 1-888-960-4477 or sending an email to IHSSHOME@rivco.org. In the email message, applicants should indicate their interest in applying for CAPI and include a phone number where they can be reached.

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