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Benefits and Rights of Undocumented Immigrants

October 19, 2021
Advocacy, Family Support

Regardless of your immigration status, there are federal laws and statutes that guarantee certain rights and benefits if you live in New York City.

Health Benefits

New York State federal law assures that everyone—regardless of legal status, with or without medical insurance, with or without the ability to pay—has the right to emergency medical services in hospitals. Undocumented immigrants are eligible for Medicaid only for the treatment of emergency medical conditions or prenatal care.

Pregnant women in NYC do not need to show any documentation regarding their immigration status in order to receive prenatal care through Medicaid. Pregnant women have the right to receive Medicaid until 60 days after they give birth. The child of a woman who is undocumented and receiving Medicaid at the time of their birth is automatically eligible to receive Medicaid for the first years of their life.

Health Care Programs

Child Health Plus offers a medical package that includes doctor visits and medical services for minors up until age 18. This package can be obtained for free or at reduced cost, depending on the family’s income. There are no immigration laws that state that a minor cannot receive a medical plan. Children who are undocumented immigrants can receive Child Health Plus.

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) participants also qualify to apply for Medicaid under Permanent Residence Under Color of Law (PRUCOL).

NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. Learn more about your health insurance options

Child care citizenship/immigration requirements under the NYC Administration for Child Services (ACS) only apply to the child, not to the parents. A parent, guardian, or relative can receive child care support for a minor if the minor is a U.S. citizen or a qualifying non-citizen.