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February 20, 2024

Caballero shares more on COVID-19 relief for undocumented adults

State Sen. Anna Caballero shared more information on the state’s program to provide disaster relief to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other assistance due to immigration status.

Caballero released the following from the state’s Health and Human Services Agency:

Through the Disaster Relief Assistance for Immigrants (DRAI) Project, California is providing state-funded disaster relief assistance to undocumented adults who are ineligible for other forms of assistance, including assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and pandemic unemployment benefits, because of their immigration status. This state funding is expected to reach about 150,000 undocumented adults. An undocumented adult who qualifies can receive $500 in direct assistance, with a maximum of $1000 in assistance per household.

Applications for disaster relief assistance services will be available on Monday, May 18, 2020. Applications will not be accepted prior to May 18th. Please do not contact nonprofit organizations about the DRAI until Monday, May 18th.


On March 4, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a State of Emergency as a result of the threat of a global pandemic related to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) illness in the State of California. That Executive Order provided, among other things, that the State must prepare for, respond to, and implement measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and prepare for increasing numbers of individuals requiring care.

On March 17, 2020, the Governor signed Senate Bill 89 (SB 89), which amended the Budget Act of 2019 to appropriate an initial $500,000,000 and potentially an additional $500,000,000 from the General Fund to be used for any purpose related to the Governor’s March 4, 2020, proclamation of a State of Emergency. On April 15, 2020, the Governor announced the creation of a $75 million disaster relief fund for assistance to undocumented immigrants as a result of the COVID-19 emergency. The Disaster Relief Fund will provide one-time relief assistance to immigrants who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak but are ineligible pandemic relief, including benefits from the CARES Act, and for unemployment insurance benefits, as a result of their immigration status.

With this step, California is taking action to assist all Californians through this unprecedented emergency. Such action serves a substantial public purpose in that it protects the public health and welfare by providing access to funds for food, shelter, medical care and other expenses for individuals and families experiencing financial hardships during the economic fallout related to the COVID-19 emergency. Ensuring support for all Californians impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic benefits the public by supporting individuals and families to heed public health orders, mitigating the economic harm caused to families and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, and broadly supporting community health and prosperity.


Please do not contact nonprofit organizations about the DRAI until Monday, May 18th.

The disaster relief assistance will be administered and delivered through twelve nonprofit organizations located in various regions of California. Nonprofit organizations were selected from among Immigration Services Funding (“ISF”) contractors with existing agreements with CDSS, who are in good standing, and have been an ISF primary or subcontractor for a minimum of 3 years. CDSS also selected nonprofit organizations with the capacity to provide a high volume of application assistance services for undocumented populations in specific geographic locations.

The nonprofit organizations will begin providing assistance to complete applications on May 18, 2020. Individuals will only be allowed to receive DRAI application assistance from nonprofit organizations assigned to their county or region. Applications will be available in each region until the DRAI funding is exhausted in that region. Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, so individuals are encouraged to apply early. Funding is limited, and disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed.

To apply for disaster relief assistance, individuals may contact the below nonprofit organizations assigned to their region/county no sooner than May 18.

Region/CountiesOrganization NameHotline NumberWebsite
Northern California: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Lake, Lassen, Mendocino, Modoc, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma Tehama, TrinityCalifornia Human Development Corporation(707) 228-1338www.californiahumandevelopm ent.org/
Bay Area: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa ClaraCatholic Charities of CaliforniaTo Be AnnouncedAlameda and Contra Costa: www.cceb.org Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo: www.catholiccharitiessf.org/ Santa Clara: www.catholiccharitiesscc.org/
Central Coast: Santa Barbara, VenturaMixteco/
Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP)
Santa Barbara: (805) 519-7776 Ventura:
(805) 519-7774
Central Coast: Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa CruzCommunity Action Board Santa Cruz(800) 228-6820www.cabinc.org/
Central Valley: Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Tulare, MonoUnited Farm Workers Foundation (UFWF)(877) 527-6660www.ufwfoundation.org
Central Valley: Mariposa, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tuolumne, Yolo, YubaCalifornia Rural Legal Assistance Foundation (CRLAF)(877) 557-0521www.crlaf.org/drai
Los Angeles, OrangeAsian Americans Advancing Justice(213) 241-8880www.advancingjustice-la.org
Los Angeles, OrangeCoalition for Humane Immigrant Rights – CHIRLA(213) 201-8700www.chirla.org
Los AngelesCentral American Resource Center – CARECEN(213) 315-2659https://www.carecen- la.org/drai?locale=en
Inland Empire: Inyo, Riverside, San BernardinoSan Bernardino Community Service Center(888) 444-0170 (909) 521-7535www.sbcscinc.org
Inland Empire: Inyo, Riverside, San BernardinoTODEC Legal Center Perris(888) 863-3291www.TODEC.org
San Diego: Imperial, San DiegoJewish Family Service of San DiegoImperial County: 760-206-3242 San Diego County: 858-206-8281To Be Announced


To be eligible for disaster relief assistance, an individual must be able to provide information that they (1) are an undocumented adult (person over the age of 18); (2) are not eligible for federal COVID-19 related assistance, like CARES Act tax stimulus payments or pandemic unemployment benefits; and (3) have experienced a hardship as a result of COVID-19. Assistance will be provided on a first come, first served basis. Disaster relief application services and assistance are not guaranteed.


The nonprofit organizations will verify DRAI eligibility and use a centralized portal to capture applicant information, document eligibility and prevent duplication of applications for assistance. The nonprofit organizations will request that applicants provide documents to verify their identity, home or mailing address, and to show they have been impacted by COVID-19.

The nonprofit organizations will verify that the documents applicants submit match the information applicants provided during the application assistance process and will make final application approval determinations.


The disaster relief assistance amount is $500 per person, with a maximum of two individuals ($1000) per household. A household is defined as persons who live and purchase and prepare meals together.


Applicants who are approved for disaster relief assistance will receive a DRAI payment card with the one-time assistance. The nonprofit organization who helps the individual apply and approves their application will inform them of how they will receive their payment card. The nonprofit organizations will maximize remote services in order to minimize the risk to public health and the health of their employees, DRAI applicants and approved applicants.


DRAI Application Assistance and Card Delivery Begins: May 18, 2020

  • Nonprofit organizations will begin assisting applicants with the application process and receiving verification documents to approve applications.
  • Delivery of payment cards will vary depending on when individuals submit their verification documents and are able to pick up the payment card or receive the payment card in the mail.
  • Applications will be accepted on a first come, first served basis, so individuals are encouraged to apply early. Application Closes: The DRAI application process will close as soon as all the disaster relief assistance is delivered or by June 30, 2020.
  • DRAI INFORMATION AND OTHER RESOURCES The CDSS will post outreach materials, including flyers and FAQs, and will identify when disaster relief assistance is no longer available in each region. Information will be available at CDSS DRAI site: https://cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/immigration/covid-19- drai. If you have any questions or need additional guidance regarding the information in this announcement, contact the Immigration Services Bureau at [email protected].

Additional information about California services and programs for immigrants is available in the Guide for Immigrant Californians, including information about jobs, wages, and benefits, and small business and housing supports. Visit www.covid19.ca.gov and click on the Guide for Immigrant Californians tab.