Victim Compensation Benefits:

Many undocumented crime victims fear that if they are taken to the hospital by ambulance, they will have to pay for the ambulance and hospital bills.  As a result, their injuries and trauma may become much worse.  But each state has programs to help victims recover from crime, and many of those programs include payment for medical expenses, counseling, and relocation from a dangerous home. Many victims also fear accessing benefits because they believe it will make them ineligible to immigrate legally in the future.  Victim Compensation benefits and Medical benefits like ambulance and hospital costs will not cause problems for future immigration.

For more information:

Public Benefits (cash aid, food stamps and medical insurance):

Some states, including California, provide medical insurance, job development benefits, cash aid and food stamps to U Visa and VAWA applicants.  If you are in a family with children and low-income, you may be eligible to get CalWORKS and full-scope Medi-Cal. If you have a slightly higher income, your children may be eligible for Healthy Families. Generally, Immigration law prevents an immigrant from getting legal status if she is likely in the future to be dependent on public benefits for her family’s sustenance.  There are certain exceptions for victims. A family with temporary need for assistance should talk with an expert to see if it will impact her immigration status. ICWC Staff can answer these questions.

For more information: Benefits for Immigrant Victims of Trafficking Domestic Violence & Other Serious Crimes in California