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BRIEF: Financial options for DACA recipients

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BRIEF: Financial options for DACA recipients
A sign welcomes Dreamers to the Dream Resource Center at Pierce College in Woodland Hills, Calif., on Sept. 26, 2019. The Dream Resource Center had its grand opening Sept. 26 to bring community engagement and support toward undocumented students. Photo by Chelsea Westman.

Students who are Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients are ineligible to receive a stimulus check from the $2.2 trillion CARES Act.

Since non-essential businesses are closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and many people are out of work, DACA students may find it difficult to pay for their needs which may include the $495 application fee to renew their DACA status.

DACA recipients also cannot access federal financial aid, grants or loans. But there are other methods to receive help such as through state governments and non-profit organizations.

In California, DACA students can receive unemployment benefits. According to the Employment Development Department (EDD), applicants must prove they have a satisfactory immigration status and that they are authorized to work. For more information or to apply for unemployment insurance, visit the EDD website

The Betancourt Macias Family Scholarship Foundation is another resource for financial aid. It is an emergency fund for undocumented people that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. To apply or view a list of resources, visit the website.

If employed in the restaurant industry, the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) is a nonprofit aimed to help workers. For short-term assistance, the RWCF’s partner Southern Smoke has an application that is prioritizing those with medical needs.

Personal loans are also an option to receive financial help since it can be used to buy food or to pay bills. To view which peronsal loans are best and a list of further organizations that help undocumented people, visit the website Interest.