California Allocates $95 Million in Aid to Undocumented Residents Affected by Storms and Flooding

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The funds, available from June onward, aim to support individuals who have experienced hardship and property damage.

Undocumented Residents Affected by Storms and Flooding
Undocumented Residents Affected by Storms and Flooding ( Photo: CalMatters )

California will allocate $95 million to provide assistance to undocumented residents affected by recent storms and flooding, according to the state’s Department of Social Services

The program was announced two months after Governor Gavin Newsom pledged aid from the state’s Rapid Response Fund. The delay in providing details drew criticism and concerns from various quarters.

Alex Stack, a spokesperson for Newsom, emphasized the challenge of ensuring accessibility for a population that is often difficult to reach and safeguarding taxpayer funds against fraud. Stack stated that the program seeks to remove hurdles for individuals who may be reluctant to access public benefits due to concerns about their immigration status, especially considering the frequent mobility of this population due to farm work and other factors.

Eligible households can receive up to $4,500, with each qualifying adult eligible for $1,500 and children eligible for $500. A portion of the $95 million will be allocated to launching and administering the program. Residents living or working in federally designated major disaster areas approved for individual assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can access the funds. Applicants must demonstrate that they are ineligible for FEMA assistance but have suffered hardship due to storms occurring between December 2022 and April 2023.

The California state government plans to distribute the funds to nonprofit organizations that will conduct in-person interviews to minimize the risk of fraud

The organizations will then provide preloaded debit cards or checks to the recipients. The announcement comes following ongoing inquiries regarding aid for undocumented residents affected by the storms.

State Senator Melissa Hurtado and other local elected officials emphasized the need for assistance, particularly for farmworkers who have lost work and are struggling to support their families and access necessary resources. The state’s efforts to provide aid to undocumented residents are in response to their ineligibility for federal programs such as FEMA aid or unemployment benefits.


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