The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has provided guidance extension of the arrival timeframe for Afghan Humanitarian Parolees and other persons who have left Afghanistan to be eligible for CalWORKs and CalFresh and refugee resettlement benefits.
Afghan Humanitarian Parolees, and their spouse and children, are eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as refugees. Persons are Afghan Humanitarian Parolees if they are citizens or national paroled into the United States between July 31, 2021 and December 16, 2022 (an extension of the original cutoff date of September 30, 2022.). They are eligible from October 1, 2021 or the date they are paroled in the United States, whichever is later, to March 31, 2023, or the end of parolees’ parole term, whichever is later. Benefits that Humanitarian Parolees, and their spouse, children, parents or legal guardians are eligible for are Refugee Cash Assistance, CalWORKs, CalFresh, SSI, Refugee Support Services, and Services for Older Refugees. Counties should redetermine eligibility for benefits when parole has expired or by March 31, 2023, whichever is later.
Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders, Special Immigrant Conditional Permanent Residents, and Afghan Special Immigrant Lawful Permanent Residents are eligible for public benefits to the same extent as refugees if their status is established between July 31, 2021 and December 16, 2022.
Effective November 21, 2022, Afghan parolees and their families with certain classes of admission are considered work authorized without waiting for their employment authorization. This allows them to enroll in Refugee Cash Assistance employment services. Their unexpired I-94 is sufficient to show employment authorization for 90 days after they are hired.
Afghan Humanitarian Parolees, and their spouse, children, parents and legal guardian, who are admitted into the United States between July 31, 2021 and December 16, 2022 are eligible for CalFresh. They are not subject to the five year waiting period for refugees. They are eligible until March 31, 2023.
CDSS has provided an updated list of acceptable verification and an updated chart of acceptable verification. (ACWDL, December 14, 2022.)