Benefits and Applications

How do I Apply for Benefits/Services?

In order to be considered for benefits according to the foundation's benefits policy, you must fully complete and return the Benefit Application Form. Yes, we know you don't like filling out forms, dredging up receipts, and writing a big dissertation to answer probing questions that might be sensitive issues. But, if you are reluctant about that small amount of pain and work just to fill out a long form, how are you going to get the willpower to work to get out of the hardship situation? A relatively small amount of one-time effort giving honest and collaborative information can go a long way. For one, it shows your willingness and drive to receive benefits otherwise unavailable. It also gives the staff the impression that a recipient will use the benefits wisely and get back on a positive track into a more self-sufficient life.

Also remember that benefits are in the form of subsidies, products and/or services, so this is not like sitting around waiting for a check to arrive. You will need to inform the staff as to what sorts of benefits, relief, products you may need to accomplish your goals or relieve you of burdens in the path of your goals.

If you have access to a computer with a printer, the fastest and BEST way to obtain an on-line copy of the application form is to go to download the benefit application form and applicant instructions from this page. Simply click where it says "El Puente Foundation Benefit Application Form - click here", below. Also download and follow the "El Puente Foundation Applicant Instructions Letter - click here" link, also below.

If you have access to electronic mail (email), you may also request an application form by sending an email to or with a subject line that says: Benefit-request form. Add your name and postal mail address to the message body just in case the email bounces or your mailbox is full. A print copy can then be sent out by one of our staffers.

If you don't have access to electronic mail, you can obtain a copy of the Benefit Application Form by writing a short letter to the foundation's staff requesting an application form. Use the address below:

El Puente Foundation
Benefit Requests
P.O. Box 9534
San Jose, CA 95157-9534

If using postal mail, a package will be sent out to you with the form and other supportive information. In all cases, it is IMPORTANT to fully complete the forms in total and provide proper documentation and receipts as required by the application. The staff needs to substantiate and have on file a lot of information to process benefits in a fair and timely manner. So, please be detailed and have your application notarized prior to sending it out. It is important for you to understand the scope of the program, the benefit request, and the terminology used on the forms. So, ask for help from a friend or more knowledgable person if you run into trouble with some of it.

El Puente Foundation Applicant Instructions Letter - click here
El Puente Foundation Benefit Application Form - click here

How are benefits processed?

Benefits are handled on a case-by-case basis. Although you may not believe it, many cases may be prioritized ahead of yours due to the more severe needs of other clients. Count your blessings, regardless of your situation. It will help down the road.

You will receive a letter describing your benefit as the staff ascertains the needs to coincide with the budgetary year. If you don't qualify during one budgeting period, you may qualify for the next period. Your application will be kept on file for review each period.

Upon review, the benefit request will either be accepted, denied, continued, or terminated. Also, copies of your application may be returned to get further clarification on the application's required information. The application may also be rejected or returned due to lack of completion. A complete explanation as to the status of your benefit request should be sent to you within 8 weeks of receiving a fully complete application, although no reply guarantees can be implied due to the volume of requests, completeness reviews, and other extenuating factors. Someone may contact you or those referenced in the application by phone regarding the goods, services, and/or subsidies covered by your benefit request.