5101:1-2-30.1 Benefit eligibility: victims of trafficking.

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, Pub. L. No. 106-386, division A, 114 Stat. 1464 (2000) makes victims of severe forms of trafficking eligible for benefits and services to the same extent as an alien who is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (1997).

(A) What is the definition of "severe forms of trafficking in persons?"

Under section 103(8) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, the term "severe forms of trafficking in persons" means:

(1) Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such act has not attained eighteen years of age; or

(2) The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

(B) Who determines if an individual is a victim of severe forms of trafficking?

The office of refugee resettlement (ORR) within the department of health and human services will make certification determinations for victims of severe forms of trafficking.

(1) For adults, ORR will issue notarized letters of certification for adult victims of severe forms of trafficking.

(2) For children, ORR will issue notarized letters, similar to adult certification letters, stating that the child is a victim of a severe form of trafficking.

(C) What are the county agency responsibilities in determining eligiblity for victims of severe forms of trafficking?

(1) The county agency shall:

(a) Accept the letters described in paragraph (B) of this rule in place of the citizenship and immigration service documentation and retain a copy in the case file.

(b) Call ORR for assistance if an individual presents an expired letter when applying for benefits or when a redetermination is being completed and the county agency finds that a certification letter has expired.

(c) Call the trafficking verification telephone line to confirm the validity of the certification letter before providing benefits. During the verification telephone call, notify ORR of the benefits for which the victim of trafficking has applied.

(d) Note the individual's entry date for refugee benefit purposes once the letter described in paragraph (B) of this rule is received and the validity of the document is verified by calling the trafficking verification telephone line. The entry date is the date of certification.

(e) Determine eligibility or redetermine eligibility in accordance with the appropriate program rules.

(f) Issue benefits and services to the same extent as a refugee, if the applicant meets other program eligibility criteria (e.g., income levels).

(2) The county agency shall not:

(a) Require victims of severe forms of trafficking to provide any other immigration documents to receive benefits.

(b) Contact the systematic alien verification for entitlements (SAVE) to confirm eligiblity for benefits. The SAVE system does not contain information about victims of severe form of trafficking.

(c) Automatically deny benefits if the individual is unable to provide verification of identity. The county agency shall call the trafficking verification telephone line for assistance.

(d) Delay, deny, or discontinue assistance to any eligible applicant because he or she does not have a social security number. If an individual is required to provide or apply for a social security number for another benefit program, such as medicaid, Ohio works first, or food assistance; or the victim of severe forms of trafficking does not yet have or is unable to obtain a social security number for work purposes, the individual shall:

(i) Complete the SS-5, "Social Security Administration Application for a Social Security Card" form;

(ii) Provide all department of homeland security documents;

(iii) Provide a passport; and

(iv) Provide a state identification card or driver's license.

(D) What if an individiual does not have certification from ORR?

The county agency shall contact ORR if it encounters:

(1) An individual or a child that is believed to meet the definition of a victim of a severe form of trafficking, but the individual has no certification; or

(2) A child believed to have been subjected to a severe form of trafficking who lacks an eligibility letter.

Replaces: 5101:1-2- 30.1

Effective: 05/01/2014
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 05/01/2019
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.02 , 5101.49 , 5107.05 , 5115.05
Rule Amplifies: 5101.02 , 5101.49 , 5107.05 , 5115.05
Prior Effective Dates: 3/1/02, 11/1/02, 7/1/05, 9/1/08