Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants
Cash Assistance Program for Immigrants (CAPI) provides cash assistance to aged, blind or disabled legal permanent residents and other qualified aliens who do not qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits solely due to their immigration status.
San Mateo County administers CAPI for the following counties known as the Bay Area CAPI Consortium (BACC): Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus County. To apply in person, please visit a county human services office near you.
Who is Eligible?
- An individual who is not a U.S, citizen
- An individual who is ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) solely based on immigration status
- An individual who is at least age 65, disabled or blind
- An individual who is a resident of California
- An individual’s monthly income is less than the potential CAPI benefit
- An individual who has $2,000 or less in resources, such as checking or saving accounts, after exclusion ($3,000 if with a spouse)
- If in doubt, we encourage you to apply or talk to a CAPI worker by calling 1-800-648-0954
How Do I Apply?
In response to COVID-19, most county human services offices have limited hours or may be closed to the public, limiting the ability to apply in person. If you want to apply in person, check first if your local county office is open, their business hours and requirements for walk-in clients. You may also use any of the options below to submit your application.
- By Phone:
Call the social services office of the county where you live if you live outside San Mateo County. For San Mateo county residents, you can contact the CAPI unit at 1-800-648-0954 or San Mateo’s Service Center at 1-800-223-8383.
- By Mail:
Download an application (create a link to CDSS form SOC 814) and mail the completed application to your local human services office or to the San Mateo County CAPI Unit at 1487 Huntington Ave., South San Francisco, CA 94080. You can also call 1-800-648-0954 to have a CAPI application form mailed to you.
- In Person:
Visit a county human services office near you.
- By Fax:
Download an application and fax the completed application to 650-952-3137, attention to San Mateo County CAPI Unit.
Once your application is received, you will be contacted to complete an interview which is required at application.
If you are approved for CAPI benefits, you will need to renew your benefits every year. At least 40 days before your renewal month, your CAPI worker will send you a renewal packet in the mail. Please complete it as soon as you receive it and return by the due date indicated on the renewal packet. If your worker does not receive your renewal documents on time, your CAPI benefit may be suspended. If your benefit is suspended, you have 12 months to reinstate. You must cooperate with your worker to get your benefit reinstated. If you are not able to reinstate your benefit in 12 months, then you have to reapply if you want to receive CAPI benefits again.
You can submit your renewal packet through one of the following ways below.
- Use the business envelope that your worker mailed with your renewal packet. Your renewal forms will be sent to CAPI Central Mail Processing at 400 Harbor Blvd., Bldg B, Belmont, CA 94002 and will be added to your CAPI records.
- Email to your worker of record. You can get the email address from your worker. The information is also included in some letters your worker sends you.
- Fax to 650-952-3137. Please write your CAPI case number on the first page of each document
- Submit in person to 1487 Huntington Ave., South San Francisco, CA 94080. Please call and check the lobby hours before going. This may change anytime due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Due to COVID-19, to ensure public safety we highly recommend that you submit your renewal packet by mail, e-mail, or fax.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How long does it take for my application to get processed?
Applications are usually processed in 30 days. Exceptions are as follows:
- If you are under 65 years old and need to complete a disability determination
- If you came to the U.S. less than 10 years ago and need to be screened under sponsor deeming
What if I came to the U.S. less than 10 years ago but I do not live with my sponsor?
You can be screened under indigence exception. If you qualify, sponsor deeming is suspended for 12 months and will be reviewed at annual renewal.
I do not speak English well and have a hard time understanding and completing forms. What assistance can you provide?
CAPI workers speak different languages including Spanish, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tagalog. If we do not speak your language, we will provide you with an interpreter to assist. You can also designate a relative, friend or organization to be your authorized representative (AR) who can assist you with application and other things you need to do. Just let your worker know so they can provide a form for you to complete.
How much is the CAPI benefit?
The amount varies and is based on your living arrangement, marital status and income, which may include the value of in-kind assistance or deemed income from a sponsor, spouse or parent. An individual may get as much as $900 a month and a couple may get up to $1500 a month.
What can I use CAPI for?
You can use your CAPI benefit to pay for your living expenses such as rent, utilities, food, clothing, etc.
When is the CAPI benefit issued?
CAPI benefit is issued at the beginning of the month. You can choose to receive it by check or as a direct deposit to a bank account that you have through electronic funds transfer (EFT).
What if I want to visit my home country?
You can do this anytime you are on CAPI. Just make sure you report this to your CAPI worker. If you will be gone for less than 30 days, your CAPI benefit should continue. If you expect to be gone for more than 30 days, your benefit may be suspended to avoid any overpayment. Your benefit can resume once you report to your worker you are back. If you decide to live permanently in your home country, you cannot receive CAPI.
What if I move to a different address?
You must report the move immediately to your worker. You cannot get CAPI if you move outside California. You can still get CAPI if you move to another address in California. Your worker will transfer your CAPI to your new county if it is outside the Bay Area CAPI Consortium (BACC). When you report that you move, your worker will collect information on your new living arrangement to see if there is any change to your benefit.
What if my living situation change?
You must report any change immediately to your worker. These changes can affect the amount of CAPI you receive. Changes to report include:
- Income (you start or stop working; you start or stop receiving other income like pension, retirement benefit, unemployment, benefit, disability benefit, cash gift, etc)
- Resources (you open/close a bank account; you bought/surrendered a life insurance policy, you sold a property, etc);
- Household (someone moves into/out of your household; you get married, separated, divorced or widowed, etc).
What if I become a U.S. citizen?
You must immediately report any change in your immigration status to your worker. When you become a U.S. citizen, you become potentially eligible for SSI . You may still get CAPI while waiting for your SSI benefit to be approved.
- Call 211 to connect with community services for food, shelter, job services, senior services, counseling and much, much more. To use the services just dial “211.”
- Click here for Food Assistance information
- Click here for Health Coverage information
- Click here for Aging and Adult Services
- Click here for Senior Housing information
- For emergency food and to apply for CalFRESH (food stamps): San Mateo County Food Connection 1-800-984-3663