What is Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)?
- DACA recipients are Permanently Residing Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) under the Medi-Cal rules.
- California residents who are considered PRUCOL and meet the income requirements are eligible for full-scope Medi-
- To qualify for DACA, an individual must have moved to the US prior to their 16th birthday, have lived here since Jan 15, 2007, and have met education and other criteria. Individuals can apply for DACA when they are 15 years old, or younger if they are in certain immigration proceedings.
- Individuals with a pending DACA application are not considered PRUCOL. Their application must be approved before they are considered PRUCOL.
- Note: In November 2014, President Obama announced an expansion of the DACA program that would change the date of entry to 2010 and remove other restrictions, as well as a program of deferred action for parents. At the time this guide was written, a legal dispute prevented these programs from going into effect. To stay up to date on updates, sign up for updates from the National Immigration Law Center: https://www.nilc.org/issues/litigation/texasvustimeline.
How does DACA overlap with SB 75?
- Some older undocumented immigrant children may qualify for DACA now. When they apply for and receive DACA, they will qualify for Medi-Cal (if they are income eligible).
- Going forward, some children who are “aging out” of SB 75 full-scope Medi-Cal eligibility (when they turn age 19) may continue full-scope Medi-Cal if they 1) apply for and receive DACA, which will qualify them as PRUCOL and 2) have income at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.
- Children who were born in another country and have lived here continuously since 2007 will be able to apply for DACA at age 15, or earlier if they are involved in certain immigration proceedings.
- For SB 75 children aging out, it will be important that county Medi-Cal offices are trained to follow SB 87 procedures by checking against all other more beneficial Medi-Cal eligibility categories before terminating their coverage from SB 75 eligibility. For example, they may qualify for coverage as PRUCOL if they are DACA recipients and their income falls within Medi-Cal eligibility levels for persons 19 or over.
- It will be important for community-based organizations to let families know about how to apply for DACA status in advance of their 19th birthday.