More federal Cares Act funding for Washington immigrants

Immigrant Relief Fund

OLYMPIA, Wash. –On Tuesday, Washingtonian immigrants can once again apply for a portion of the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund.

The fund is a pool of money from the federal CARES Act created during the coronavirus pandemic to help people ineligible for federal stimulus money or unemployment benefits due to their immigration status.

An additional $65 million has been recently allocated to the fund.

According to Washington’s Department of Social and Health Services, around 250,000 people have been unable to access unemployment insurance compensation and federal stimulus packages due to their immigration status.

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Roughly $127.6 million dollars in federal CARES Act funding will be distributed in one-time, $1,000 payments to each eligible person.

“DSHS is honored to be a part of this project that is centering the needs and voices of a community that has largely been left out of basic needs assistance programs,” said Babs Roberts, Director of DSHS’ Community Services Division in its Economic Services Administration. “Working with immigrant-led organizations to administer this fund has been crucial to earning the trust of the community and to removing barriers for people to be able to receive the grant.”

“It is amazing to see that nearly 60,000 people across our state have already received a grant during these difficult times,” added Sarah Peterson, Chief of DSHS’ Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance in the Community Services Division. “We know that more is needed, and we are excited to be able to get these additional resources into the hands of an additional 60,000 people in the community.”

Applications are open today until May 21, 2021. Funds will likely be distributed to approved applicants between June 1 and June 15, 2021, according to the department.

Applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis, prioritizing those in greatest need. Eligible community members can apply by:

  • Visiting the website at immigrantreliefwa.org
  • Calling the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network at 844–724–3737, every day from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.
  • Connecting with a DSHS community-based partner for assistance

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