The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued guidance regarding eligibility of Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees for federal and state benefits.
Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan refugees and asylees are eligible for CalWORKs, CalFresh, SSI, Refugee Cash Assistance, and Refugee Support Services. Asylum applicants are not eligible for federally funded benefits and services unless they hold another qualifying status.
Humanitarian parolees are generally not eligible for federal benefits. Nicaraguan and Venezuelan parolees are not eligible for refugee benefits and services. Cubans and Haitians who arrive in the United States under the supporter-based parole process are eligible for benefits to the same extent as refugees.
Temporary Protected Status holders are not eligible for most federal or state benefits or services.
For Refugee Cash Assistance, counties can accept a declaration under penalty of perjury that the individual has a qualifying immigration status if the worker is unable to confirm status after reviewing documents that suggest eligibility. Refugee Cash Assistance applicants are not required to provide Social Security Numbers.
Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees are eligible for CalWORKs because humanitarian parolees have Permanent Residence Under Color of Law. As CalWORKs recipients, they are eligible for Welfare-To-Work services, Family Stabilization, domestic abuse survivor services, Housing Support Program, Homeless Assistance, Bringing Families Home, Housing and Disability Advocacy Program, and Home Safe. Housing Support Program and Homeless Assistance can supplement federal refugee resettlement funding.
Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees are eligible for Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants.
Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees may be eligible for CalFresh or the California Food Assistance Program if they have been paroled into the United States for at least one year.
Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees may be eligible for Medi-Cal.
Counties must submit cases to the SAVE system for verification.
Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, and Venezuelan parolees can present a copy of their electronic Form I-94. Additional verification may be required in limited circumstances, such as when information from the applicant does not match federal immigration records. (ACIN I-13-22, April 20, 2023.)