FAQ: Eligibility for Assistance Based on Immigration Status

Eligibility for Assistance Based on Immigration Status

Last updated OCTOBER 2023

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

This resource provides an overview of the immigrant eligibility rules for federal housing and homelessness, disaster, energy, and water assistance programs. Immigrant families also may have questions about the implications of using these programs, under the Department of Homeland Security’s or Department of State’s public charge policies, which can affect some noncitizens seeking admission to the U.S. or applying for lawful permanent resident status (green card). The only benefits considered in the current public charge test are monthly cash assistance programs, like SSI, TANF or General Assistance and government funded long-term care.

The table in the PDF provides information about immigrants’ eligibility for these programs in addition to potential implications for public charge determinations.


  • Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
  • Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF)
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Emergency Rental Assistance Program
  • Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG)
  • Other HUD Programs
  • Unemployment Insurance (UI)
  • Economic Impact Payments (EIPs)
  • FEMA Assistance
  • Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds

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