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Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI)

CAPI is a 100 percent state-funded program designed to provide monthly cash benefits to aged, blind, and disabled non-citizens who are ineligible for SSI/SSP solely due to their immigrant status. The welfare reform act of 1996 (P.L. 104-193) eliminated Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) eligibility for most non-citizens. As a result, most immigrants who were not receiving SSI/SSP in August 1996 are no longer eligible for SSI/SSP. State regulations governing CAPI can be found in Manual of Policies and Procedures, Division 49.

CAPI recipients may be eligible for CalFresh benefits, Medi-Cal, Special Circumstances, and IHSS, but they must file for each benefit separately. There is no automatic eligibility link between CAPI and these other programs.

Basic Eligibility Rules for CAPI

  1. Successfully complete the application process, which is begun by filing an application in county welfare department offices.
  2. Meet all other SSI/SSP eligibility criteria except for immigration status
    • Be aged, blind, or disabled,
    • Be a resident of California,
    • Have resources below the allowable limits of $2,000 for an individual or $3,000 for a couple, and
    • Have income less than the CAPI standards
  3. Be a non-citizen and meet the immigration status criteria in effect for SSI/SSP as of 8/21/96.
  4. Be ineligible for SSI/SSP solely due to immigration status. This means a CAPI applicant must apply for SSI/SSP, or submit other proof of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration.

Amount of Benefits

CAPI payment amounts vary depending on a person's marital status, living arrangements and other income. CAPI payment standards are $10 less than SSI/SSP payment standards ($20 for a couple). Current information regarding SSI/SSP payment standards in California and SSI/SSP eligibility information can be obtained by calling the Social Security Administration (SSA) at 1 (800) 772-1213 or by contacting your local SSA office.