This debit card can be $ 700, $ 1,100, or $ 1,500, depending on family members and income.

On Tuesday, just minutes from the opening of the financial aid period by the Los Angeles mayor's office, the website stopped working and the phone lines were flooded making it almost impossible for people to enter.

After a few hours, the page started working again allowing people to request the Angelino Debit Card. This card, announced Monday by Mayor Eric Garcetti, is specifically for Angelenos who lived below the federal poverty line before the coronavirus crisis began.

People's immigration status is not a problem to apply for the card which can be $ 700, $ 1,100 or $ 1,500, depending on family size and household income.

Yudy Mena, 43, said she heard the announcement on the news Tuesday morning and did not hesitate to call to see if she could apply for help.

"My husband paints houses and his employer stopped working about two weeks ago because people no longer want them to go home," Mena said. "I used to sell hot-dogs and potatoes on the weekends on the street, but I haven't gone out either because I am scared (contagion)."

The couple who have a minor child is among the thousands of immigrants who were left out of the federal stimulus ($ 1,200 per person) that is already being granted to people with legal status in the country.

Locally, Mayor Garcetti, through the Angelino Fund in association with Accelerator of America and Mastercard, raised funds to issue money cards in Los Angeles, including the undocumented.

Recipients of these cards must not return the money and immigrants who request them will not be considered a public charge.

The application process

The Angelino Debit Card application period is open until Thursday, April 16 and once it closes, a certain number of people will be chosen at random. These people will have to appear at an appointment — in a center chosen by the applicant — to bring the documents that prove the income, address and number of members of the applicant.

Felipe Escobar, organizer of Pacoima Beautiful, a community organization in the San Fernando Valley, helped Mena fill out her application since she does not know how to use the internet.

Escobar said he helped several people, including Mena, to apply for the Angelino Debit Card. He filled out the application online while obtaining the applicant's information over the phone.

"I think the most personal information they ask for is their date of birth and address," Escobar said. "They also ask for income information and how many people live in the home."

The organizer said it is a relatively easy request and now all that remains is to wait to see if the families will move to the second step.

Mena assured that if chosen for the second phase of the process, she already has all the documents ready and hopes to receive the much-needed help for her and her family.

"We had a little bit of savings, but we already spent it for rent and food," Mena said. "If we were approved, that money would help us a lot to turn off the rent and buy more food."

Back to normal

It's been over a month since the coronavirus outbreak was first announced that it began to spread people and eventually caused an order from California Governor Gavin Newsom to stay home.

However, this order could begin to be lifted little by little if Californians are careful and follow certain orders, the governor said.

"The normal thing will not be until we have found immunity and have a vaccine," Newsom said during his press conference on Tuesday.

Six-point plan for when and how to modify stay-at-home orders during the pandemic.

  • The ability to monitor and protect communities through testing, contact tracing, isolation, and support for those who test positive or are exposed to COVID-19.
  • The ability to prevent infection in people with the most serious risk of COVID-19.
  • The ability to handle waves in the health system.
  • The ability to develop therapies to meet demand.
  • The ability of businesses, schools, and child care facilities to support physical distancing.
  • The ability to determine when to reinstate certain measures, such as stay-at-home orders, if necessary.

Deadline to apply for the Angeleno Debit Card is April 16

$ 1,000 per month for tenants

The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a measure that gives $ 1,000 a month for three months to tenants of homes most affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal to create the Countywide Emergency Rental Assistance Program, submitted by Supervisors Janice Hahn and Hilda Solis, was unanimously approved and the money received will not have to be repaid by beneficiaries.

"Housing stability is crucial for residents both during and after the COVID-19 crisis," Supervisor Solís said yesterday in announcing approval of the program.

The initiative "can provide much-needed support to pay for the overwhelmed households that are having little or no income as a result of the pandemic," added the supervisor.

The new aid complements the freezing of rental value and the suspension of evictions, measures previously approved by the Board of Supervisors to protect tenants who are unable to pay the value of the lease because they lost their income due to the crisis sanitary.

The County Development Authority shall submit a report in 30 days to the Board of Supervisors on the implementation of the Emergency Rental Assistance.

The restraining order to stay in houses in Los Angeles County was extended last Friday until May 19, and the county reported yesterday of 8,430 recorded cases and 241 deaths from COVID-19. / EFE

Other options

While it is known that undocumented immigrants do not qualify for government financial aid or unemployment, there are some options that they could explore.

People with health problems or who need to miss work to care for a family member, such as pregnant women, may qualify for state disability insurance and / or paid family leave. And people in essential jobs who have contracted the coronavirus on the job can apply for worker's compensation.

Additionally, the Los Angeles School District (LAUSD) like many other districts continue to provide food for students who need it. Parents do not need to bring anything, just pick up the food at the schools indicated according to their neighborhood.

Gloria Saucedo, activist and director of the pro-immigrant organization Centro México, said that the help is good but it has not been enough since if the order to stay at home continues, the families will need much more.

"But it has always happened so the undocumented community is left without benefits," said Saucedo.

She indicated that if immigrant families could receive aid like the undocumented people affected in the 1994 Northridge earthquake would be very good.

"At that time, parents got financial help to pay their rent through a child who had social security," said the activist. "Hopefully in California this Governor will help us with something similar."


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