Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)

The Basics

Under the Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI), the state of California gives a monthly cash payment to legal immigrants who are 65 or older, blind, or have a disability but can't get federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits only because of their immigration status.

To get the monthly CAPI cash benefit, you must:

  • Be a California resident
  • Be 65 or older, blind, or have a disability
  • Be a legal immigrant
  • Have limited income and resources, and
  • Be unable to get federal SSI benefits because of your immigration status (and for no other reason).

People who get SSI payments in California also get a smaller State Supplemental Payment (SSP), and the CAPI monthly payments are the same amount as the combined SSI/SSP. For most people, the maximum possible CAPI benefit is $1,182.94 for an individual and $2,022.83 for a couple. (If you're blind, the maximum is $1,267.32 for an individual or $2,248.35 for a couple.)

Note: Maximum benefits amounts depend on your situation. Click here for a table listing current CAPI benefit amounts.

The best way to apply for CAPI depends on which California county you live in. For details, contact your local county social services agency.

If you get CAPI, you might also be able to get other benefits like CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps), Medi-Cal health insurance, or In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS). However, you must apply to get any of these benefits; you do not get them automatically just becasue you get CAPI.

History of CAPI

The federal SSI program used to give a monthly cash benefit to legal immigrants who are over 65, blind, or have a disability, and have no income and few resources to pay for their basic needs. SSI rules changed in the 1990s, and some legal immigrants can no longer get this SSI. California created CAPI to help people who can’t get SSI benefits only because of their immigration status.

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