Ensuring Access to Benefits for Eligible Immigrant Families

Immigrant families face disproportionately high barriers to enrollment, even when they are eligible for assistance. The Center uses a combination of community outreach, administrative advocacy, and litigation to make it easier for eligible immigrants to access benefits.

We closely monitor the Human Services Department’s policies and practices to be sure that all offices are complying with current federal and state law on immigrant eligibility for benefits. When the Department is incorrectly interpreting the regulations-–for example, by imposing waiting periods or asking for documentation when the law does not require it–-we work closely with state officials to make sure that the policy is changed and employees are educated on correct policies and procedures. We push for the adoption of policies that make it easier for eligible immigrants to apply, including policies that make it clear eligible immigrants can safely apply for benefits without worrying about unintended consequences for undocumented family members. We also encourage the Human Services Department to make its services fully accessible to immigrant families, no matter what language they read or speak.

We also provide community outreach and training events to spread the word about immigrant eligibility for benefits to empower families and their advocates with the information needed to apply. These trainings also give us a chance to hear stories from families who had difficulties enrolling. We use these stories to inform our continuing policy work.

To learn how to apply for assistance, please visit our page How to Apply for Public Benefits.

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