Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund launches new application period Sept. 19-Nov. 14


Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund logo — English

Contact: Norah West, DSHS Office of Communications, 360–489–5587

OLYMPIA, Washington — The Department of Social and Health Services is pleased to announce the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund is open for new applications as of Monday, Sept. 19, 2022. The fund provides at least $1,000 in cash assistance for immigrants living in Washington state.

About the Fund:

In 2020 and 2021, the Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund provided financial assistance to 120,853 people who were impacted by the pandemic but ineligible to received federal economic stimulus funds or unemployment assistance due to their immigration status. The Washington COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund is a community-driven program established by Governor Inslee with an initial $40 million in August 2020, and $22.5 million in December 2020. The Washington State Legislature continued to support the program by investing an additional $62.5 million in March 2021.

For the 2022–2023 biennium, DSHS received an additional $340 million from the Washington State Legislature to continue to support for Washington’s immigrant community. This fund provides a final cash grant amount to individuals who are ineligible for other forms of assistance. Eligible applicants will receive their grant in December 2022 or January 2023.

“The DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance has been honored and humbled to work with our community partners over the past two years to support the WA COVID-19 Immigrant Relief Fund,” said Sarah Peterson, who heads the Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance. “This is a tremendous opportunity for DSHS to help people who may have been left out of other federal and state resources to address the economic impact of the pandemic.”

The agency’s goal is to get these resources into the hands of community members in a timely and thoughtful manner and has partnered with many different immigrant-led organizations to implement this fund effectively and safely. DSHS is partnering Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network and Washington Community Alliance to support communications, community engagement and outreach, and LiveStories will be administering the online application, screening applications and distributing grants.

People can apply from Sept. 19 to Nov. 14, 2022. This nine-week, open application period is the longest of any of the fund’s previous application periods, which should ensure all eligible applicants have the opportunity to apply. Applicants can also work to complete the application process with 52 contracted organizations across the state to support outreach and application assistance.

Applying for the fund is simple, safe and secure. DSHS will not receive any personally identifiable information from the applications, and all information will be captured and analyzed by a third party. To learn more about the fund and how to apply, please visit immigrantreliefwa.org or call 844–620–1999.