BY Kerry Picket
Refugees receive a plethora of services and assistance when they reach the shores of the America, according to a recently released study.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops posted a PDF on their website breaking down available assistance for refugees resettled in the United States. The information is based on a report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
President Barack Obama initially said he wanted to bring in 10,000 Syrian refugees. The White House is now discussing raising that from 70,000 this year to 85,000 in 2016 and 100,000 in fiscal 2017, administration officials told Bloomberg News.
The numbers of refugees appear on track to grow and each refugee is offered a placement grant of $1,850 from the Department of State. This includes: pre-arrival, reception, initial housing food, clothing, referral services and social programs. The benefit eligibility are for those refugees who have been in the U.S. for up to three months.
Refugees needing cash assistance can get it through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). This is temporary financial assistance and social services for those eligible low-income refugees with dependent children. Cash assistance for refugees who do not qualify for TANF can also be obtained through Refugee Cash Assistance. This is available for those in U.S. for up to 8 months.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is also an option for incoming refugees and those who settled in the U.S. for up to nine years. This is cash is cash assistance for those low-income individuals who may be elderly, blind, or disabled.
Refugees who’ve been in the United States up to seven years are also offered medical financial assistance through Medicaid as well as through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Otherwise, Refugee Medical Assistance is available for up to eight months for those individuals who are not eligible for Medicaid.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is made available to refugees for up to nine years while social services for refugees — including job training, placement, and retention for those settled in the U.S — are available for up to five years.
Ann Corcoran, founder of Refugee Resettlement Watch, first noticed the posting and comments, “At the top you will see that each refugee gets $1850 as a one time payment from the US Dept. of State (a family of 6 would receive $11,100). However, the contracting (non-profit) agency keeps about $750 of each refugee’s allotment for its own overhead.”
She later noted, “But, that is not all the contractor receives, most get tens of thousands of federal dollars to run myriad other programs through their offices including English language lessons, employment counseling, and even are granted federal dollars to develop community gardens for their refugee clients.”