Calif. to begin distributing disaster relief to undocumented immigrants

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SAN DIEGO — Financial assistance for undocumented immigrants living in California will become available Monday as part of a disaster relief initiative announced last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The effort will provide eligible applicants ages 18 and older a one-time payment of $500 ⁠— with a limit of $1,000 per family ⁠— if they can demonstrate lost income due to COVID-19. It is part of a $125 million relief program to assist undocumented Californians who otherwise would not qualify for federal or unemployment benefits because of their immigration status.

“California is the most diverse state in the nation,” Newsom said on April 15. “Our diversity makes us stronger and more resilient. Every Californian, including our undocumented neighbors and friends, should know that California is here to support them during this crisis. We are all in this together.”

Jewish Family Service of San Diego will oversee the Immigrant Disaster Relief Fund in both San Diego and Imperial counties, Supervisor Nathan Fletcher said last week.

To qualify, applicants must provide Jewish Family Service information and documents to confirm their identities, verify their home mailing address and “demonstrate that you have been affected by COVID-19,” its website shows. Direct assistance payments will be available beginning Monday and are expected to be distributed until June 30, or until the fund is exhausted.

More information including how to apply for funding is available online at or by calling 858-206-8291 (San Diego County) or 760-206-3242 (Imperial County). The call center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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