[pdf] Chapter 17.3: Post-Assault Healthcare and Crime Victim Compensation for Immigrant Victims of Violence (May 24, 2024) (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. Under federal crime victim compensation laws states provide health care assistance to crime victims that includes health care funded by the Victims of Crime Act Compensation Act (VOCA). How health care for crime victims is funded, what health care services are covered, how victims apply, and which crime victims are covered varies state by state. In all but one state VOCA funded crime victim compensation is open to all victims without regard to immigration status. Alabama severely restricts the numbers of immigrant victims who can access VOCA funded crime victims compensation based on the immigration status of the victim at the time the crime victimization occurred. This chapter includes two sets of state by state charts that briefly, and in detail, summarize the provisions available by state to immigrant victims of sexual assault and other violent crimes, as well as the victim compensation laws and processes to receive compensation for each state, DC, Puerto Rico, and Guam.

[pdf] Benefits for Immigrant Crime Victims: Technical Assistance on Eligibility for Maryland (December 19, 2023) (+)

This report provides a brief description of Maryland’s current eligibility criteria for a variety of public benefits, including food assistance, cash assistance (TANF), healthcare, and Supplemental Security Income, as well as access to Driver’s Licenses for persons who cannot provide proof of lawful status including specifically immigrant survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and human sex and labor trafficking. The report focuses particularly on benefits for immigrant crime survivors who have filed or are preparing to file for immigration relief: VAWA Self-Petitioners, U visa applicants, T visa applicants, applicants for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), and applicants for Continued Presence. For each benefit type, the report discusses a model state law as well as options for a more incremental approach. It then provides a menu of options, drawn from other state law approaches, for Maryland to extend eligibility for public benefits to more immigrant victims of crime and abuse than it currently does. The report also provides an analysis of best practices where appropriate.

[pdf] Bench Card on Immigrant Crime Victim’s and Immigrant Children’s Access to Public Benefits and Services (December 31, 2021) (+)

This bench card provides an outline for judges of the publicly funded state and federal public benefits and services that are open to all immigrants without regard to immigration status. The bench card then describes at what points in an immigrant victim, child or other litigant’s immigration case process they gain again access to a broader range of state and federal public benefits including subsidized health care, food stamps, TANF, housing, post-secondary educational grants and loans and a wide range of other benefits. Having a list of which immigrant qualify for which benefits and services will help judges craft court orders in cases involving immigrnat children, crime victims and their families.

[pdf] Public Benefits Flow Charts: VAWA Self‐Petition and Cancellation, U-Visas, T-Visas, and SIJS (December 29, 2021) (+)

The public benefits flow charts pertain to VAWA self-petition and cancellation, U-Visas, T-Visas, and Special Juvenile Immigrant Status (SIJS). Specifically, the charts explain access to federal and state public benefits for battered immigrant spouses and children of U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents, victims of human trafficking, U-Visa victims, and SIJS victims.

[pdf] SIJS Benefits Eligibility Benchcard (July 2022) (+)

This Benchcard discusses the qualifications for Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) status, how to apply for and obtain SIJ status, qualifications for SIJ status, and how to receive benefits after receiving SIJ status. It also outlines the federal and state public benefits and other government-funded programs available to SIJ children as well as the eligibility period.

*Interactive Public Benefits Map

An interactive map providing state-by-state data on the demographics of and public benefits available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The benefits outlined include: TANF, healthcare, post-assault care, pre-natal care, emergency Medicaid, forensic exams, child care, driver’s licenses, food programs, in-state tuition, SSI, and energy/weatherization. https://map.niwap.org/  

[pdf] Comparison Chart of Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petitioning, U visa, and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) (2015) (+)

This chart compares forms of crime victim based immigration relief for immigrant children. It covers VAWA self-petitioning for child abuse victims, the U visa for child victims of child abuse, sexual assault and other forms of criminal activity and special immigrant juvenile status available for children who have been abused, abandoned or neglected by one or both of their parents. The chart compares eligibility for immigration relief, the immigration relief process, timing of access to lawful permanent residency and access to public benefits and services among these three forms of immigration relief.

[pdf] Opening Plenary: Improved Access to Public Benefits for All Immigrant Survivors (+)

After reading this training, you will be able to understand what forms of assistance undocumented immigrants can access, be better equipped to help immigrant survivors access LSC funded legal services, transitional housing, health care, and other services necessary to protect life and safety, and better appreciate the importance of accompanying survivors applying for benefits for their children.

[pdf] Anti-Discrimination Provisions that Apply to Programs Receiving Federal Funding Serving Victims of Violence Against Women Crimes (February 10, 2017) (+)

All programs that serve survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, dating violence, child abuse, elder abuse, human trafficking or other crime victims and directly or indirectly receive federal funding or assistance are responsible for complying with anti-discrimination laws. This fact sheet will discuss the anti-discrimination provisions of laws and programs with particular applicability to immigrant and Limited English Proficient (LEP) crime victims. By Catherine Longville and Leslye E. Orloff

[pdf] Public Benefits Tool Kit (+)

This is a comprehensive tool that provides information relating to public benefits. This manual is composed of chapters and training tools providing overview of immigrant crime victims’ legal rights to services and public benefits, programs open to all without regard to immigration status, federal public benefits (by topic), state benefits comparison charts (by topic), drivers licenses and Social Security numbers, screening and eligibility, and additional government documents relevant to access to public benefits and services for immigrant crime victims.

[pdf] Chapter 04.2: Public Benefits Access for Battered Immigrant Women and Children (+)

This chapter includes:
– the types of immigration status relevant to a public benefits determination
– the legal definition of a battered “qualified” immigrant
– categories of benefits
– specific eligibility rules for some important federal programs
– the need to accompany battered immigrants applying for benefits
– public charge
– rules regarding inquiries into citizenship and immigration status
– social security numbers

Readers should be aware that many immigrant eligibility provisions and public benefit requirements discussed in this chapter are both complex, and deeply intertwined. Because of this overlapping complexity, some of the information in this chapter is duplicated in more than one section when required for clarity. Our goal is to assure that advocates and attorneys using this manual can easily access the most complete information they will need to assist clients.

[pdf] Chapter 04.3: Barriers to Accessing Services: The Importance of Advocates Accompanying Battered Immigrants Applying for Public Benefits (+)

This chapter discusses the different barriers which immigrants may encounter with regard to accessing services. It discusses the impact of Welfare Reform on immigrant families. This chapter also includes a policy guidance issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, regarding handling questions on citizenship, immigration status, and social security numbers during the benefits application process, as well as facilitating access to public benefits for persons with limited English proficiency (LEP). Other topics included in this chapter are Medicaid and SCHIP, food stamps, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

[pdf] Somewhere to Turn (+)

A comprehensive manual covering topics such as: domestic violence and battered immigrant issues, cultural competency training, cross-cultural interviewing, recruiting and hiring multilingual and multicultural staff, shelter protocols, outreach and community collaboration, shelter access for battered immigrant women, VAWA immigration cases and victim advocacy confidentiality, creative use of protection orders, protections orders enforcement and criminal prosecution, access to public benefits, verification and reporting requirements under the U.S. Attorney General’s guidance and order, and model programs.

[pdf] Chapter 17.1: Emergency Medicaid: Urgent Medical Services for Immigrant Crime Victims and Children (December 7, 2016) (+)

Chapter in Empowering Survivors: Legal Rights of Immigrant Victims of Sexual Assault. Under federal health care, public benefits and immigration laws states have obligations to provide emergency medicaid to immigrants without regard to immigration status. This includes immigrant victims of sexual assault. This chapter is intended to provide an overview regarding health benefits and emergency Medicaid for each state. It provides a chart detailing the definition of what services are provided in the emergency medicaid program, what is covered in each state, and provides a state-by-state chart detailing each state’s laws concerning emergency Medicaid, the coverage provided, and the application process involved.


Information regarding public benefits access for battered immigrant women and children. This reading covers who are qualified immigrants, what benefits can qualified immigrants receive, how do battered immigrants become qualified immigrants, what is substantial connection, exemptions from deeming requirements, and benefits available to all immigrants.

[pdf] HHS: Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA); Interpretation of “Federal Public Benefit” (August 4, 1998) (+)

This notice with comment period interprets the term “Federal public benefit” as used in Title IV of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), Pub. L. 104-193, and identifies the HHS programs that provide such benefits under this interpretation. According to section 401 of PRWORA, aliens who are not “qualified aliens” are not eligible for any “Federal public benefit,” unless the “Federal public benefit” falls within a specific exception. A “Federal public benefit” includes “any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license” provided to an individual, and also “any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public, or assisted housing, post-secondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit.” Under section 432, providers of a non-exempt “Federal public benefit” must verify that a person applying for the benefit is a qualified alien and is eligibile to receive the benefit.