Frequently Asked Questions About Microgrants
- What does Microgrants do?
Microgrants offers small grants to trans and gender non-conforming people to get their idenification documents updated with the accurate name and/or gender marker.
We also have an Inside Advocacy program, that offers microgrants for identification document changes, commissary grants to trans folks who are currently incarcerated, and post release grants to folks that have recently been released.
- What does Microgrants not do?
- We cannot offer legal support or advice and we cannot file paperwork for you.
- What kinds of documents does Microgrants cover?
Currently we offer grants for court order name changes and the publication fees some states and counties require to obtain a name change, passports, and driver’s licenses or state ID’s. We also offer grants for immigration documents such as: Employment Authorization cards, Permanent Resident Cards, Naturalization Certificates, and Consular Birth Abroad certificates. We also cover the costs of tribal ID’s.
- What does the application process look like, and what is the wait time?
The application currently opens twice a month online at different times of the day. On the first of the month, it opens at 9 AM PST, and on the 15th of the month it opens at 3 PM PST. We can currently accept only 35 applications per month due to financial limitations. When you fill out the application, it will ask for some basic info about yourself, how we should get in touch with you, and what documents you are looking for assistance with. In order to access the application, you will go to: translifeline.org/microgrants.
Right now the wait time is 2-4 months.
- Once I fill out an application, what does the process look like?
Once you submit your application, it goes into a database and is assigned to a volunteer that works with us. They will be in contact with you to discuss what documents you would like a microgrant for, a little bit about the process, and determine the fees that those documents require. That information gets passed on to the staff who process payments, and you will soon thereafter receive your grant in the payment preference of your choice. We work through the applications chronologically based on the date that folks apply.
- What types of payment methods does Microgrants use?
We are currently able to send along grants in the form of personal checks or PayPal.
- Does Microgrants cover birth certificates?
We are not able to pay for birth certificates at this time due to capacity, unless it restricts someone from accessing the documents that we do cover the costs of. Because many individuals no longer reside in the state from which they were born, it becomes complicated when obtaining documents in one state and transferring them to another. Each state is unique and has its own laws and processes that sometimes do not meet specific requirements.
- Why do I have to wait after getting my application in?
Due to our current budget, we can only process a certain amount of applications per month. We want to continue accepting applications, but in order to do that it also means that there is a small wait list. We understand that this can still be stressful and the urgency of these needs; We are working to build coalitions with other organizations who provide similar resources to refer folks who are not able to access us at this time. If you have questions about resources in your area, you can email [email protected].
We are always working on improving this program: We want to be able to offer this resource to more people, make it more accessible to folks, to improve the application process and make the overall experience better. We welcome all feedback! Here is a survey you can fill out with any feedback on elements of this program, whether you have already received a grant or are still waiting to get your application in. Thank you for working with us to best meet the needs of our community!