What is the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)?

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CAPI provides cash assistance to immigrants who are either aged, blind or disabled, who do not qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to immigration status.

What does CAPI provide, and how long will it last?

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CAPI provides a monthly cash benefit. Your eligibility is redetermined every 12 months.

Who is eligible for CAPI?

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To be eligible for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants you must:

In addition, you must:

How do I apply for CAPI?

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To apply for CAPI, contact your local county Department of Social Services.

Are there any medical eligibility requirements to enroll in CAPI?

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Yes. You must meet Social Security’s definitions of disability or blindness if you are applying based on these factors. This doesn’t apply to you if you are applying for CAPI based on age (65 years and older).

Does what I have in the bank and/or what I own affect my eligibility for CAPI?

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Yes. To be eligible for the CAPI, you cannot:
  • Have resources (personal property) worth more than $2,000 ($3,000 for a couple). CAPI does not count your home, car, and certain other resources when figuring out your eligibility. And if your disability began before you turned 26, you can open an ABLE account, where over time you can save up to $100,000 and not have it counted by CAPI. Learn more about ABLE accounts.
  • Have countable income (income after certain deductions have been applied) greater than the maximum benefit rate. While that figure varies depending on age, living situation and disability, the 2019 monthly limit is $921.72 for an individual living in his/her own home and $1,544.14 for couples (if both are on CAPI).

Click here for a table listing current CAPI benefit amounts.

How soon can I be eligible for benefits from CAPI?

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If your CAPI application is approved, you can expect to receive your payment the month after applying for benefits.

If you need assistance before receiving CAPI, you may want to consider applying for General Assistance/General Relief (GA/GR) through your contact your county social services agency.

Can I qualify for CAPI while I am eligible for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program?

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No. One of the requirements of CAPI is that you are not eligible for SSI benefits. You may, however, be eligible for CAPI while your SSI application is being processed.

Can I qualify for CAPI while I am eligible for Medi-Cal (Medicaid) health coverage?

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Yes. You will fill out an application for Medi-Cal when you apply for CAPI, and you may be eligible to receive Medi-Cal coverage while receiving CAPI benefits.

How do I stay enrolled/eligible in CAPI?

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To stay enrolled in CAPI, you will need to continue to meet the income, asset and residency requirements. CAPI is redetermined every 12 months.

What is the difference between CAPI and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program?

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CAPI is an alternative to the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program for people who do not qualify for SSI due to immigration status.

CAPI benefits are $10 less than corresponding SSI payments for individuals, and $20 less for couples. For example, the SSI payment for disabled individuals in 2019 is $931.72, so the CAPI benefit is $921.72.

Another difference is that people who get CAPI benefits do not automatically get Medi-Cal coverage. If you get CAPI, you must apply for Medi-Cal separately. Learn more about Medi-Cal.

When will my sponsor and sponsor's spouse's income and resources not be considered when determining my eligibility for CAPI?

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Usually, if you have a sponsor, their income and resources are considered when determining your CAPI eligibility. Their spouse's income and resources are also considered. This is a process called deeming.

Your sponsor's income and resources will not be deemed if you:

  • Are a victim of abuse, child who is a victim of abuse, or a parent whose child is a victim of abuse; OR
  • Can not meet your basic needs and are therefore eligible for the indigence exception

Are there certain immigration requirements for CAPI?

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To be eligible for CAPI you must be either a Qualified Alien or Permanently Residing in the U.S. Under Color of Law (PRUCOL). See the glossary definitions for detailed descriptions of these categories.

Does my spouse's or sponsor's income affect my eligibility for the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants?

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Yes. If you entered the U.S.with the support of a sponsor, their income may affect your eligibility for CAPI. This process is called deeming. See CAPI Deeming Rules for more details.