CAPI helps legal immigrants in California who can't get federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits only because of their immigration status.

Application Process

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

Note: Due to COVID-19, there may be limits on in-person services. Contact your agency by phone to ask about this.

When you apply, you usually need:

  • Identification (passport, legal Permanent Resident card, birth certificate, and any other documents)
  • Your Social Security number
  • Details about your immigration status and your sponsor (if you have one)
  • Proof of where you live (a rent or mortgage receipt, a utility bill with your name on it)
  • Proof of income (pay stubs, stubs for unemployment or other benefits, pension or annuity records)
  • Documents showing your personal resources (like bank statements, vehicle registration, life insurance policies, savings bonds, stock certificates)

You must fill out a number of forms. CAPI needs to know the details about immigration status, living arrangements, and income and resource information for both you and your sponsor. (If you have a sponsor who signed an affidavit of support, CAPI adds your sponsor’s income and resources to yours in a process called deeming. Learn more about the complex CAPI deeming rules.)

You also must show that you have been denied federal Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits in the past 6 months based only on your immigration status. If you can’t prove this with a copy of a letter from the SSI or other document, or you haven't tried to get SSI yet, you must apply for SSI when you apply for CAPI.

To get CAPI, you also must apply for any other benefit programs that might be able to help you, like CalFresh (formerly Food Stamps), Medi-Cal health insurance, In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS), State Disability Insurance (SDI), Veterans Benefits, or Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). You must apply to get any of these benefits; you do not get them automatically just becasue you get CAPI.