NC State Refugee Program Advisory Council
Refugee Public Assistance involves two programs – Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA).
RCA is financial support provided to eligible individuals who participate in employability services in accordance with an Employability Plan.
RMA is a short-term medical insurance program available to eligible individuals in order to stabilize their health shortly after arrival in the U.S. – benefits are similar to the NC Medicaid program and include such things as doctor visits, hospitalization, prescription medicine, dental and eye care.
Refugees and other qualified individuals are eligible for both programs up to eight months after arrival in the U.S.
Eligibility criteria parallel the state's Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, which is titled Work First in North Carolina.
Application for this assistance is made at the local County Department of Social Services.
During Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) 2013 (October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013), approximately 1,348 individuals received Refugee Cash Assistance and approximately 1,901 individuals received Refugee Medical Assistance through the NC Refugee Assistance Program.
The Refugee Social Services (RAP-SS) program provides help with employment, adjusting to life in the United States, certain immigration paperwork, and learning the English language. Other support services such as interpretation and transportation may also be available. There is no income eligibility criteria for RAP-SS, but services must be provided in accordance with a written service plan. A person is no longer eligible upon becoming a U.S. citizen.
RAP-SS are provided in order to:
Achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible and quickly reduce dependence on public assistance;
Expedite the resettlement process and encourage social adjustment;
Assist refugees with finding jobs and maintaining employment;
Acquire English language skills; and
Acquire Vocational Skills Training and Vocational Education Instruction
English Language Training;
Citizenship and Immigration Services;
Vocational Skills Training, including Drivers Education and Vocational Education;
Translation & Interpretation services;
Skills Recertification; and
Social Adjustment services, including Information & Referral, Emergency Services, and Health-Related services
The North Carolina Refugee Assistance Program (NC-RAP) is a short-term transitional program that is intended to produce early economic self-sufficiency for refugees and other eligible populations.
NC-RAP consists of two primary service areas – Refugee Public Assistance and Refugee Social Services. NC-RAP also includes other discretionary grant funded programs, such as:
Assistance to public schools for educational support to refugee children (School Impact Program);
Targeted employment assistance in Guilford and Mecklenburg counties (Targeted Assistance Program – Formula);
Targeted assistance funding in areas other than Guilford/Mecklenburg counties aimed at improving self-sufficiency and social adjustment outcomes
Aging services to older refugees (Services to Older Refugees Program);
Social services targeted to certain populations (Cuban/Haitian Program); and
Preventive health screening (i.e. Domestic Health Assessment/Screening, Immunizations, and Referral for treatment of any identified health conditions)
Funding for NC RAP comes from the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (U.S. DHHS).