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23354 loresWe put the call out for your questions related to the coronavirus pandemic, and you’ve submitted questions about financial help, case counts, reopenings and more.

Listener Gigi Pravda wrote in, asking: How do I apply for unemployment benefits if under Asylum Status? How do I find financial resources in San Mateo County in the interim?

Our South Bay reporter Pamela Lorence looked into it. Here’s what she found.

(Image: Transmission electron microscopic image of an isolate from the first U.S. case of COVID-19, formerly known as 2019-nCoV. CDC / Hannah A Bullock; Azaibi Tamin)


Unemployment for immigrants

To collect UI benefits, you must show that you were in satisfactory immigration status and authorized to work in the United States when earning the wages you used to establish your claim. You must also give proof that you are currently in satisfactory immigration status, and are authorized to work each week that you claim benefits.

Note: The EDD verifies immigration status and work authorization through the Department of Homeland Security.

You can file an unemployment insurance claim online at

If immigration status is questionable, this fund from private donations can help:

San Mateo financial resources

San Mateo County pandemic-related resources, including financial, food, health and housing resources, can be found at

Also in San Mateo County, the Office of Community Affairs has a list of resources specifically for immigrants:

Immigrants Rising in San Francisco may also be able to answer specific questions:

Do you have a coronavirus-related question? Submit it using the form at the right or at We answer questions weekly on our virtual Town Hall each Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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