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The Sikh Coalition News
March 22, 2020
  • List of State Benefits (re: COVID-19)

    To read this message in Punjabi, please click here.

    March 22, 2020 (New York, NY) - In response to the rapidly scaling COVID-19 outbreak in the United States, the Sikh Coalition wants to ensure that community members have easy access to public benefit information and resources.

    In addition to providing detailed information regarding emergency benefits coming from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, we are now sharing additional federal and state resources and public benefits that Sikh families should be aware of. This compilation of resources includes unemployment, medicaid, and welfare programs from all 50 U.S. states.

    At this time, we recognize that state agencies in some states may be closing temporarily, and it is possible that agency staff will have limited or no ability to work remotely. Should this happen, the processing of any claims that you make will likely be delayed. It is important to keep in mind that the situation is changing rapidly, so you should refer to the state and federal benefits document we are sharing regularly for the most up-to-date information. You should also routinely check your local government websites for possible additional services.

    According to the Families First Act, non-U.S. citizens are also entitled to certain emergency benefits--specifically, COVID-19 medical care. However, you should be aware of how availing yourself of federally funded benefits, apart from those provided under the Families First Act, could impact future visa and citizenship applications. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services has released a factsheet on the Public Charge Rule and has issued this statement. At this time, we are unclear whether the Public Charge Rule will be suspended given the extreme nature of COVID-19. We encourage any non-U.S. citizen seeking government assistance to speak with an attorney specializing in immigration law and/or public assistance programs who can advise you about what programs you may be eligible for and to what extent receiving these benefits may impact your immigration status.

    The Sikh Coalition recognizes that millions of American families are being financially impacted by COVID-19, including many Sikh American families. As a civil rights organization, we are in the process of shifting some of our organizational priorities, and working with partners, as quickly as possible to better meet some of the unique challenges that we are facing as a nation. Please expect more COVID-19 support and resources to follow from our team in the days ahead.

    As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.
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