Advocates are extraordinarily adept when it comes to accessing community and public benefits available to survivors. Many immigrant survivors, however, have restricted access to federal and state/local public benefits, and it is often the case that the more tenuous their immigration status might be, the fewer such public benefits they can access. But there are some available to everybody, regardless of immigration status, and it is important to know what they are and be prepared to advocate for immigrant survivors’ access to them.
This section of the Toolkit includes:
· Practice guidance regarding connecting immigrant survivors to community-based resources and supports
· Analysis and practice guidance regarding the public benefits system:
o An overview of the statutory eligibility requirements for immigrant survivors of sexual/domestic violence; and the process and limitations regarding benefits workers’ responsibilities to verify and report applicants’ immigration status-related information.
o An overview of the federal benefits system, which includes:
§ Federal means-tested public benefits
§ Federal public benefits
§ Services “to protect life and safety” available to all persons, regardless of immigration status
o An overview of key differences between the federal and state/local benefit systems
o A review of nonprofit charitable organizations’ abilities (obligations, if they receive federal funding) to provide services to all persons, regardless of immigration status