5101:1-2-40.1 Refugee cash assistance.

Refugee cash assistance (RCA) provides time-limited cash assistance to refugees who are not eligible for Ohio works first (OWF) or supplemental security income (SSI) and who meet the other eligibility requirements of this rule.

(A) Who is eligible for RCA?

(1) Refugees who are not eligible for OWF or SSI;

(2) Whose entry date is within eight months of the application date; and

(3) Who meet the application and income requirements of this rule.

(B) Who is not eligible for RCA?

(1) Refugees participating in a matching grant program through a resettlement agency.

(2) Refugees who are eligible for OWF or SSI.

(3) Refugees who are full-time students in an institution of higher education.

(4) Refugees who have quit a job or refused a valid offer of employment within the immediate thirty calendar days preceding the refugee's application for cash assistance.

(C) How long may a refugee receive RCA?

(1) The eligibility period for RCA begins with the refugee's entry date and ends the last day of the eighth month after the entry date. For example, a refugee whose entry date is January first and a refugee whose entry date is January twentieth both have an eligibility period that begins in the month of January and ends the last day of August of the same year.

(2) When the first eight months since the entry date have passed, the refugee is no longer eligible for RCA.

(3) The eligibility period for a refugee child with an interim assistance letter from the department of health and human services, office of refugee resettlement (ORR) ends ninety days after the individual's entry date.

(D) What are the eligibility criteria for RCA?

(1) The application process and procedures are set forth in rule 5101:1-2-01 of the Administrative Code.

(2) The county agency must first determine whether the refugee is eligible for OWF. If the refugee meets all of the requirements for OWF, the individual becomes a regular OWF participant. When the county agency determines that a refugee does not meet the requirements of OWF, the individual has potential eligibility for RCA.

(3) All refugees who allege blindness or a disability, or who are at least sixty-five years of age, must be referred immediately to the social security administration to apply for SSI.

(a) Refugees may receive RCA until SSI benefits begin if the conditions of eligibility for RCA are met.

(b) When an SSI payment is made in the same month an RCA benefit is issued, the county agency must initiate overpayment activity.

(4) The county agency must determine eligibility for RCA within thirty days of the application date, as described in rule 5101:1-2-01 of the Administrative Code.

(5) The county agency must use the application date, as defined in rule 5101:1-2-01 of the Administrative Code, as the date RCA begins.

(a) For individuals eligible for RCA, the county agency must process a partial payment for the month of initial eligibility whenever the date of initial eligibility begins too late in the month to authorize assistance with that effective date. Procedures explained in rule 5101:1-23-40 of the Administrative Code apply to proration of such benefits.

(b) For a refugee who applies for RCA so that the only assistance payment would be for the refugee's last month of eligibility, the assistance payment must be made for that month, even if the payment is not issued until after the end of the last month of time-limited eligibility.

(6) Income eligibility, budgeting requirements and payment levels set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code must be applied in the determination of initial eligibility, continued eligibility, and the amount of cash assistance for RCA.

(a) What is not included in the eligibility determination?

(i) Resources remaining in the individual's country of origin.

(ii) Any assistance a refugee receives from a resettlement agency as part of the reception and placement grant.

(iii) Resources and income of a sponsor.

(b) When the parent of a child in the RCA assistance group does not meet the status requirement as specified in paragraph (B)(10) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code, the alien parent is excluded from the RCA assistance group. The income of the ineligible alien parent is counted as unearned income, following application of the income allocation methodology as set forth in rule 5101:1-23-20.2 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Because a couple's eligibility is determined as an economic unit, the income of a spouse who is no longer RCA eligible due to the time limitation must be used in determining RCA eligibility for the spouse who is still within the time limit. The budgeting method set forth in paragraph (A)(2)(d) of rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code is applicable in determining eligibility for the spouse who is still within the time limit.

(d) When a required member of the RCA assistance group is ineligible for RCA because the member fails to meet the immigration status requirements as specified in paragraph (B)(10) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code or because any of the conditions set forth in paragraph (H) of this rule are met, the income of the ineligible member is included in the determination of eligibility and payment level for the remaining member(s) of the RCA assistance group, as set forth in paragraphs (A)(2)(c), (C) and (H)(2) of rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code.

(7) Reapplication requirements are set forth in rule 5101:1-2-10 of the Administrative Code.

(E) What are the county agency's responsibilities related to resettlement agencies?

(1) When a refugee receiving reception and placement services from a resettlement agency applies for cash assistance, the county agency must:

(a) Promptly notify the local resettlement agency that the refugee applied for cash assistance, and

(b) Confirm with the resettlement agency that the refugee has not voluntarily quit or refused a valid offer of employment in the thirty days prior to applying for cash assistance.

(2) The county agency must notify the resettlement agency of any action which involves:

(a) The termination of benefits,

(b) The removal of one or more people from the assistance group, or

(c) A change in the delivery of benefits.

(F) What are the county agency's administrative responsibilities?

(1) Verification and reporting procedures are set forth in rule 5101:1-2-20 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Use of the systematic alien verification for entitlements (SAVE) system, as described in rule 5101:1-1-50 of the Administrative Code, applies to applicants for RCA. The SAVE system does not contain information about victims of a severe form of trafficking, nonimmigrant alien family members of victims of trafficking or refugees with interim assistance letters. Call the toll-free trafficking verification line at(866) 401-5510 to verify status and to notify the ORR of the benefits for which the individual has applied.

(3) Rule 5101:1-1-03 of the Administrative Code applies to the confidentiality, safeguarding and sharing of information related to applicants, recipients or former recipients of RCA.

(4) Rules 5101:1-23-70 and 5101:1-23-60 of the Administrative Code regarding recovery of overpayments and corrections of underpayments apply to recipients or former recipients of RCA.

(5) An RCA applicant or recipient has all the hearing and notice requirement rights set forth in division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code. A hearing need not be granted when assistance is terminated because the eligibility time period has passed, unless there is an unresolved disputed issue of fact related to the individual's entry date.

(6) The criteria for destruction of RCA assistance group records is subject to the procedures outlined in rule 5101:9-9-21 of the Administrative Code.

(G) What are the work activity requirements for recipients of RCA?

(1) Ohio works first work activity requirements do not apply to recipients of RCA. Employable RCA recipients must participate in refugee social services program (RSSP) or targeted assistance program (TAP) activities in the county in which they reside, as described in rules 5101:1-2-40.2 to 5101:1-2-40.5 of the Administrative Code.

(a) There is no minimum number of hours of participation in employment services or employability services to receive RCA.

(b) The refugee must abide by the agreed upon services outlined in the individual employability plan.

(2) County agencies receiving an RSSP or TAP allocation pursuant to rule 5101:9-6-16 or 5101:9-6-16.1 of the Administrative Code must:

(a) Provide or arrange for employable RCA recipients to receive employment services and employability services through the RSSP or TAP, as described in rules 5101:1-2-40.2 to 5101:1-2-40.5 of the Administrative Code, within thirty days.

(b) Inform refugees in writing that failure without good cause to participate or to report as requested by the provider may affect the assistance payment.

(c) Monitor changes in exemption status and refer refugees who are not exempt from participation to employment and employability services.

(d) Permit, but not require, the voluntary registration for employment services of an RCA recipient who is exempt from participation as set forth in paragraph (B)(2) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code. The cash benefit cannot be impacted by failure or refusal to participate.

(3) County agencies not receiving an RSSP or TAP allocation may refer RCA recipients to employment services and English language training in their area. Refugees may voluntarily participate in such services and their RCA benefit cannot be impacted by failure to participate.

(H) What are the refugee's responsibilities?

(1) The refugee must provide documentation of refugee status, as described in paragraph (B)(10) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code.

(2) The refugee must provide the name of the resettlement agency that helped with resettlement in the U.S. Refugees with status documentation described in paragraphs (B)(10)(a), (c), (d), (e), (f), (g), (h), (i) and (j) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code may not have worked with a resettlement agency and are therefore exempt from this requirement.

(3) As a condition for receipt of RCA, all employable assistance group members, except for good cause shown, are required to:

(a) Participate in the RSSP or TAP, as described in rules 5101:1-2-40.2 to 5101:1-2-40.5 of the Administrative Code, within thirty days of receipt of assistance.

(b) Comply with the provisions of the individual employability plan as described in rules 5101:1-2-40.2 to 5101:1-2-40.4 of the Administrative Code.

(c) Go to job interviews arranged by the county agency, provider or resettlement agency which was responsible for the initial resettlement of the refugee.

(d) Accept at any time, from any source, an offer of employment that meets the requirements in rule 5101:1-2-40.3 of the Administrative Code.

(4) Inability to communicate in English does not exempt a refugee from participation in employment services or acceptance of appropriate offers of employment.

(I) What if the refugee fails or refuses to cooperate with the individual employability plan, voluntarily quits a job or refuses a job offer?

(1) The county agency must determine whether good cause exists as described in paragraph (F) of rule 5101:1-3-11 of the Administrative Code.

(2) Sanctions are applied when an employable refugee quits a job or fails or refuses, without good cause, to comply with paragraph (H) of this rule.

(a) If the sanctioned individual is the only member of the RCA assistance group, the assistance must be terminated for the sanction period explained in paragraph (I)(2)(c) of this rule.

(b) If there are other assistance group members, the county agency must not take into account the sanctioned individual's needs in determining the remaining assistance group's need for assistance.

(c) The sanction period is three payment months for the first failure and RCA is terminated for any subsequent failure.

(3) Refugees in receipt of RCA who are not considered employable, pursuant to paragraph (B)(2) of rule 5101:1-2-40 of the Administrative Code, and who voluntarily participate in the RSSP or TAP must be deregistered from employability services and employment services for ninety days if they fail to comply with paragraph (H) of this rule without good cause. There is no impact on the cash benefit.

Replaces: 5101:1-2-40

Effective: 09/01/2010
R.C. 119.032 review dates: 07/01/2015
Promulgated Under: 111.15
Statutory Authority: 5101.02 , 5101.49
Rule Amplifies: 5101.02 , 5101.49
Prior Effective Dates: 7/1/76, 12/31/77, 11/22/81, 10/21/82, 11/1/82, 2/9/84 (temp.), 5/1/84, 7/1/84, 7/2/84, 10/1/84 (Emer.), 12/27/84, 1/1/85 (Emer.), 4/1/85, 8/1/86 (Emer.), 10/3/86, 7/1/88, 1/1/89 (Emer.), 4/1/89, 11/1/89, 1/1/90 (Emer.), 4/1/90, 10/1/91 (Emer.), 12/20/91, 4/1/92, 10/1/92 (Emer.), 12/21/92, 9/1/94, 10/1/95, 1/1/96, 5/1/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/00, 10/1/00, 3/1/02, 11/1/02, 7/1/05