Finally, A Bit of Relief for Undocumented Immigrants (in California) Affected by Covid-19

By Rachel Puryear, Attorney at Law

As millions of people nationwide have suffered partial or total loss of their regular employment and income in recent weeks, benefits and relief programs have made a vital difference for families everywhere (including my own). However, up until now, immigrants who are undocumented in the state and nation have been excluded from such relief. Many undocumented Californians also continue to perform essential work, including farming and various services.

Farm workers in a green field with mountains in the background.

But beginning tomorrow (Monday), some undocumented immigrants in California who have been impacted by the coronavirus will be able to apply for a little bit of relief. A person who:

(1) Is at least 18 years old, and is undocumented, and

(2) Is ineligible for federal Covid-19 relief, such as relief under the CARES Act, and

(3) Has experienced a hardship due to the virus,

may apply for relief through June 30. The relief will include a one-time payment of $500.00 per adult, with a cap of $1,000.00 per household. It’s not much, but it’s a good start in the right direction. Applicants will be considered on a first-come, first-served basis, and the funds will be distributed until the money has run out.

To apply, one must call their local hotline. The local hotline for Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties is (866) 490-3899. The hotlines for the other areas of California may be found here on the State’s website.

If you or anyone you know is undocumented, or you know someone who likely knows many undocumented persons (like someone in an organization serving immigrants), please help spread the word.

Special thanks to the Mercury News for publishing the story here.

As always, dear readers, be safe and healthy out there. Please help keep everyone safe by observing official recommendations for social distancing, sheltering in place, covering your face in public, and practicing proper hygiene. Please also help others where you can in ways big and small, and ask for help if you need it. We will all get through this together. Thank you for reading, and for following me. I hope you enjoyed this, and learned something valuable.

** Got a legal subject or question you are curious about? Email it to me at Your question may be discussed in a future blog post!

Please note that the above is offered for educational purposes only. The information presented may not take into account every exception, variation, or complication which could apply to someone’s legal matters. Accordingly, nothing in this post or blog is ever intended as, nor should be construed by or relied upon by anyone, as legal advice. If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney who can give you assistance specific to your needs.


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