*State-By-State Immigrant Access to Health Benefits

Federal law provides access to various medical benefits for both qualified and unqualified immigrants:

  • Qualified immigrants include: (1) LPRs, including Amerasian immigrants; (2) refugees, asylees, persons granted withholding of deportation/removal, conditional entry, or paroled into the U.S. for at least one year; (3) Cuban/Haitian entrants; (4) certain victims of trafficking; and (4) battered spouses and children with a pending or approved (a) self-petition for an immigrant visa, or (b) immigrant visa filed for a spouse or child by a U.S. citizen or LPR, or (c) application for cancellation of removal/suspension of deportation, whose need for benefits has a substantial connection to the battery or cruelty. Parent/child of such battered child/spouse are also qualified.
  • Non-qualified immigrants include (1) undocumented immigrants; (2) U-visa holders; (3) other immigrants formerly considered “permanently residing under color of law” (PRUCOL); and (4) immigrants with temporary status such as tourists and students.

In addition to federal benefits, states may elect to provide greater access to health care for qualified and non-qualified immigrants.  Therefore, the medical benefits qualified and non-qualified immigrants are eligible to receive varies by state.  The following charts show state-by-state eligibility and application procedures for different types of medical services, including: pre-natal care, post-assault healthcare and victim compensation, coverage of forensic costs, and emergency Medicaid. These charts can help identify state specific benefits available for immigrants that need access to public benefits.

  • Pre-Natal Care and Child Healthcare for Qualified and Non-Qualified Immigrants: Pre-natal care is generally available in all states for qualified immigrants, and emergency medical care can often be used to cover pre-natal care for non-qualified immigrants in many states.  For state-specific information on pre-natal care, see the chart attached.  Many states offer state funded health care for qualified immigrant children. 
  • Post-Assault Healthcare and Crime Victim Compensation: The Federal Victims of Crime Act established a Crime Victims Fund that provides grants to states for eligible crime victim compensation programs.  Each state and territory has a victim compensation program.  Most of these programs provide compensation to victims of crimes that occur in that state.  Generally, a victim must suffer physical (bodily) injury, emotional injury, economic loss, or some combination of these.  For state-specific information on eligibility, coverage, and the application process see the chart attached.
  • Coverage or Forensic Costs for Undocumented Immigrants: Most states bear the cost of forensic examinations that help the police locate and prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault.  Generally, payment is made by the law enforcement agency, the county, or the Victims’ Compensation Board. However, requirements may vary by state, particularly the need to report the crime or the period within which the crime must be reported.  For state-specific information, on eligibility, coverage, and reporting requirements, please see the chart attached.
  • Emergency Medicaid for Non-Qualified Immigrants: While states are constrained by federal law in their ability to provide public benefits to certain types of “non-qualified” immigrants, all states provide them coverage for emergency medical services.  However, program features and restrictions vary somewhat across the states.  For state-specific information, on coverage and eligibility please see the chart attached.
  • State Funded Benefits Comparison Chart: This chart compares state-funded public benefits across states. The chart reports on state funded TANF, medical assistance, food stamps and driver’s licenses. This chart can be used together with NIWAP state by state benefits charts to look up the full legal citations that support immigrant crime victim eligibility in your state and neighboring states. To identify and compare the statutory and regulatory language used in any of the state statutes cited in this chart go to the NIWAP webpage that contains links to all state public benefits charts. https://niwaplibrary.wcl.american.edu/all-state-public-benefits-charts.
  • NIWAP’s State by State Public Benefits Map and Detailed State Charts