To get cash assistance from CAPI, you have to meet certain requirements. Most importantly, you have to be an aged (65 years of age or older), blind, or disabled California resident who has been denied SSI because of your immigration status.

Additional requirements to be eligible for CAPI:

  • You must live in California,
  • You must be a legal immigrant, and
  • Can’t get SSI because of your immigration status.

If you meet those basic requirements, there are other immigration status, resource, and income rules.

For a list of all of the letters and notices about updates and changes to CAPI, click here.

People Not Eligible For CAPI Benefits

You will not be eligible for CAPI if you are:

  • A U.S. Citizen
  • Receiving SSI benefits
  • Living in a public institution, such as a public hospital or jail, for an entire calendar month
  • Not a resident of California
  • Uncooperative with program requirements
  • A fleeing felon

Sponsor Deeming

Having a sponsor may affect your eligibility for CAPI. When figuring out your income and resource amounts, CAPI adds your sponsor’s income and resources to yours. They will also add your sponsor’s spouse’s income and resources. This is a process called deeming. For example, if you have $500 in countable resources and your sponsor has $1000 in countable resources, CAPI will add the two figures together and say that you have $1500 in countable resources. Income and resources are deemed regardless of whether or not the sponsor is actually giving them to you. Deeming also applies if you have a spouse who is ineligible for CAPI, and if you have a minor child applying for CAPI benefits, your income will be deemed to the child.

The CAPI deeming rules are complex. The period of time and amount of your sponsor’s income and resources that are deemed to you depend on when you entered the county, which type of affidavit of support your sponsor signed, and whether or not your sponsor is dead, disabled, or abusive. For example, income and resources won’t be deemed to you if your sponsor has abused you or your child. This deeming exception lasts for either one year from the date you receive your first CAPI, or indefinitely, depending on what petition was filed with the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). If you can’t afford food, clothing, or shelter, you may also be able to avoid deeming through the indigence exception.