FAQ: Eligibility for Assistance Based on Immigration Status

Eligibility for Assistance Based on Immigration Status

MAY 5, 2020

National Immigration Law Center | National Housing Law Project | National Low Income Housing Coalition

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress has passed several emergency measures that provide assistance to struggling individuals and families. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act includes funding for several housing programs as well as other financial assistance. However, some of these programs restrict eligibility based on immigration status and may have implications under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s new public charge rule, which determines if non–U.S. citizens seeking admission to the U.S. or applying for lawful permanent resident (green card) status are likely to become “primarily dependent on the government.”

The table available here (see PDF icon, above) provides information about immigrants’ eligibility for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), other HUD programs (HUD = U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development), Unemployment Insurance (UI), Economic Impact Payments, and FEMA assistance, in addition to discussing implications for public charge determinations.


  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)
  • Other HUD Programs
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Economic Impact Payments
  • FEMA Assistance

To download the FAQ table, click on the PDF icon, above.