Undocumented Filipinos encouraged to apply for CA’s disaster relief fund

UNDOCUMENTED Filipino immigrants in California are encouraged to apply for the state’s disaster relief fund that grants up to $1,000 per household.

Governor Gavin Newsom in April announced the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) program, a one-time fund of undocumented adults impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic who are not eligible for other forms of government relief, such as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in assistance, with a cap of $1,000 per household.

Applications began on May 18 until funding is spent or until June 30.

Twelve immigrant-serving nonprofit organizations have been selected to help individuals apply for and receive the funds in their region, including Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles (Advancing Justice-LA) for Los Angeles and Orange counties.
The funding is expected to benefit about 150,000 undocumented immigrants.

The organization encouraged undocumented individuals in the Filipino American community to inquire if they are struggling financially due to the pandemic.

“Your status and personal information will remain confidential. Application is only available by phone,” it said.

Advancing Justice-LA operates a hotline at (213) 241-8874 for Tagalog and (213) 241-8880 for English from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or until hotline queues reach capacity.

The organization also warned the community of potential scams that may be masking as DRAI assistance.

The California Department of Social Services will never contact applicants regarding the program or ask about social security numbers or any financial information.

Applicants will be asked for eligibility information and documents by the nonprofit organization they contact to apply for assistance.

There is no fee to apply for DRAI and there is no waiting list, the organization said.

If the application is approved, individuals should expect to receive the bank card within two to three weeks after submission. (AJPress)

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