(A) What is the repatriate program?
The United States (U.S.) repatriate program provides temporary financial assistance, care and treatment for persons after they have returned to this country.
(B) What is temporary financial assistance?
(1) Temporary financial assistance is provided in the form of a loan that is required to be repaid to the U.S. government. It may be furnished to individuals for up to a maximum of ninety days from the date of arrival in the U.S.
(2) Temporary financial assistance:
(a) Includes cash assistance at the port of entry when it is determined that the repatriate has no such resources immediately available to him or her. Assistance provided to the individual includes:
(i) Transportation costs - a one-time expense to assist individuals in reaching their place of residence, the home of relatives, or the place where they will be resettled. The lowest cost and most direct means of transportation shall be used unless effective service to the individual calls for providing other accommodations. Transportation assistance will cover expenses incidental to travel such as meals and lodging en route and assistance with luggage, checking, storage, or transportation of personal effects.
(ii) Meals and food items - this includes the cost of a special diet as recommended by a physician;
(iii) Clothing - an initial supply of clothing, including coats, boots, shoes, etc.; and
(iv) Shelter - the need for temporary housing should not exceed five days from the point of entry.
(b) Shall be nominal in amount if the repatriate's needs for temporary shelter and food are being met on a congregate basis, with cash provided only for personal items.
(c) Includes the cost of necessary medical assistance, including payment of the cost of medical and hospital care that is necessary because of the condition of an eligible repatriate's health.
(i) This care shall be paid in accordance with the Ohio department of medicaid (ODM) fee schedule.
(ii) In lieu of the ODM fee schedule, the customary fees paid by other third-party groups such as health maintenance organizations may be paid.
(d) Shall be based upon the Ohio works first (OWF) payment standard for the family assistance group size. There are other essential needs that may be provided such as household furnishings to make a home liveable and to provide for the safety, health and welfare of the repatriate and the repatriate's family. These needs can be authorized one time only.
(C) Who is eligible for assistance under the repatriate program?
In order for an individual to be eligible for assistance under the repatriate program, he or she shall meet the following:
(1) Eligibility must be certified by the U.S. department of state.
(2) The individual shall be a U.S. citizen or a dependent of a U.S. citizen including the following:
(c) Spouse's parents;
(e) Unmarried minor children including adopted children and stepchildren;
(f) Unmarried adult children who are dependent because they have disabilities, including adopted children and stepchildren; and
(g) Minor siblings of the U.S. citizen and his or her spouse.
(3) The individual shall be returning to the U.S. from a foreign country as a result of:
(b) Illness (including a mental disability); or
(c) War, threat of war or similar crisis.
(4) The individual has no income or resources immediately available for living expenses.
(a) Assistance for repatriated U.S. citizens shall be given when the individual's liquid resources are at or below the maximum resource limits as set forth in rule 5101:4-4-01 of the Administrative Code and the income is insufficient to meet the expenses for food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and other essential needs.
(b) Resources to be considered are only those immediately accessible.
Resources are considered immediately accessible when they are in existence, under the control of the individual, and when the individual can utilize them. The fact that an individual may have resources in a foreign country does not affect eligibility if the foreign country prohibits their removal.
(c) Income eligibility must be determined. The individual may have income through an employer prior to his or her repatriation. When this occurs, the income and eligibility calculation shall be determined in accordance with rule 5101:1-23-20 of the Administrative Code.
(D) How does the repatriate program work?
(1) The U.S. department of state certifies who qualifies for assistance under this program.
(2) If an individual returns to the U.S. because of destitution or illness and needs assistance, the U.S. department of state will notify the office of refugee resettlement (ORR) in the department of health and human services (DHHS), who makes a referral to the international social service-United States of America branch, incorporated (ISS-USA) with information about the individual situation, arrival time and final destination.
(3) The ISS-USA will provide the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) with this information.
(4) ODJFS shall contact the county agency in the county of final destination.
(5) Following such notification, the county agency shall take the following actions:
(a) Determine the initial housing needed.
(i) Contact any known relatives or friends to identify potential housing, or
(ii) Check with the domestic violence and homeless shelters, or
(iii) If arrival occurs before housing plans can be arranged, a temporary hotel or motel may be used.
(b) Make plans to meet the repatriate and the repatriate's family. In most instances, this will be at the local airport.
(c) Coordinate a psychiatric evaluation, if necessary.
(d) Advise the ISS-USA and ODJFS of the name, address and telephone number of the person meeting the repatriate and of the housing arrangements.
(e) Provide each repatriate with a copy of the "Welcome Package" provided by ISS-USA that is located athttp://www.iss-usa.org/services/repatriation which explains the program and the requirements to repay the federal government for the cost of services received.
(f) The individual will also be asked to complete the repatriation program consent form that is located athttp://www.iss-usa.org/services/repatriation which allows the ORR, and the repatriation program to collect, have access to, and disclose protected health information for the purpose of making program financial decisions.
(g) Establish a case record.
(h) Determine the repatriate's ability to repay as set forth in paragraph (G) of this rule and develop a repayment plan when possible.
(i) Determine eligibility for repatriate assistance and authorize financial and medical assistance in the form of county money payments.
(j) Refer all cases to the county agency social service area for counseling and referral for employment, referral for educational opportunities, occupational retraining, housing services, legal services, child care and protection, if indicated. Other services may also be necessary to help the repatriate and his or her family adapt to the changes in their circumstances and to become self-supporting as quickly as possible.
(k) Explore eligibility for other programs such as OWF, medicaid, and food assistance.
(l) Maintain a record of the period of eligibility and the amounts of the assistance the repatriate receives in two categories:
(i) Port of entry assistance (expenses at port of entry); and
(ii) Subsistence and resettlement assistance (initial expenses for resettling).
(E) How long can an individual receive assistance under the repatriate program?
(1) The assistance described in paragraph (B)(2)(a) of this rule may be authorized for a period of up to ninety days from the day of arrival of the eligible person into the U.S., provided the individual or family is not eligible for OWF or supplemental security income (SSI). If the ninety-day period passes and there is no request for further assistance, the repatriate is no longer eligible under this program.
(2) If the repatriate is not eligible for assistance through OWF or SSI and is unable to attain self-support due to age, disability, or lack of vocational training, repatriate assistance may be extended for an additional nine months when authorized by the ISS-USA.
(3) The county agency shall submit any request for an extension to ODJFS, as soon as the need for additional assistance is recognized. The request for additional repatriate assistance shall be submitted prior to the expiration of the initial ninety-day period of eligibility.
(4) All requests for an extension of temporary assistance beyond the ninety-day period shall include the following information:
(a) The names of all family members, their country of citizenship, and their relationship to the U.S. citizen;
(b) Date and port of entry into the U.S.;
(c) Documentation regarding why the family is not eligible for or receiving OWF or SSI assistance;
(d) For cases where immigration status precludes a family from meeting eligibility for OWF assistance, the county agency shall document its efforts to resolve U.S. citizenship and immigration barriers;
(e) A statement describing the job search efforts of the head or heads of household; and
(f) Any special circumstances which describe the reasons why an individual or family is unable to achieve self-support should also be stated in the request.
(F) How much assistance can an individual receive under the repatriate program?
The maximum amount of assistance that an individual may be eligible to receive each month of the ninety-day period shall be based on the appropriate OWF payment standard for the family assistance group size.
(G) Is repayment required for individuals who receive assistance under the repatriate program?
(1) An individual who has received repatriate assistance shall be required to repay any or all of the cost of such assistance to the U.S. A cooperative agreement exists between the ORR and the ISS-USA. A county agency who provides assistance to eligible individuals under the repatriate program will receive reimbursement from the ISS-USA.
(2) The county agency shall evaluate the repatriate's ability to repay during the initial contact and interview. The repatriate shall be required to sign the "Privacy Act Statement/Repayment Agreement" that is located at http://www.iss-usa.org/services/repatriation regardless of his or her ability to repay or the county agency recommendation to waive the repayment. The county agency shall forward the recommendation regarding financial ability of the repatriate to make repayment, the repatriation program consent form if signed, and the "Privacy Act Statement/Repayment Agreement" to ISS-USA within ten business days of the initial contact with the repatriate.
(3) In exploring the repatriate's ability to repay, the county agency shall take into account income and resources currently available to the repatriate and those resources which may be available in the future.
(4) Ability to repay will be considered to exist when income and/or resources in excess of continuing needs can be expected to become readily available to the individual within one year after self-support is attained. It is not intended that an individual deplete income and/or resources which are needed to become independent or to maintain independence in order to repay the federal government. Income and/or resources are to be considered readily available when they are in existence, under the control of the repatriate, and sufficient to be drawn upon for repayment. When exploring the repatriate's ability to repay, such factors as the type of usual occupation, amount of indebtedness, and employment history shall be considered.
(5) Assistance that is less than fifty dollars is not required to be repaid.
(H) What are the other requirements under the repatriate program?
(1) In the event of emergency repatriation situations that result from the U.S. department of state-assisted evacuation of U.S. citizens from a country due to crisis or natural disaster, the ORR will assume administrative responsibilities. These situations will generally be handled by the ORR as the lead agency responsible for arranging through state agencies for the reception, temporary care, and onward transportation to the final destination of non-combatant evacuees returned to the U.S. from a foreign country.
(2) Financial assistance under the repatriate program is subject to one hundred per cent federal reimbursement. It is essential that the county agency submit claims as soon as possible after the end of each month, but no later than ten business days after the close of the month. If claims cannot be submitted within the time frame designated, the county agency shall notify ISS-USA so that regulations can be followed to assure that federal funds will be obligated and available to pay the claim when it is received.
(3) The county agency is required to keep separate accounts for the repatriate program so that the transactions may be readily identifiable from those of other programs. A separate fiscal record should be established and maintained for each person for whom expenditures are made with sufficient information, including copies of bills paid and receipts, to enable the county agency to identify and support the costs for which reimbursement is requested.
(4) All hearing rights in accordance with division 5101:6 of the Administrative Code are to be afforded to applicants or recipients of the repatriate assistance program who wish to appeal a decision made by the county agency.
Five Year Review (FYR) Dates: 06/23/2015 and 11/01/2020
Promulgated Under: 119.03
Statutory Authority: 5101.02, 5101.49
Rule Amplifies: 5101.49
Prior Effective Dates: 1/1/74, 11/1/75, 7/1/76, 4/1/86, 10/1/89 (Emer.), 12/16/89, 5/1/95, 7/1/97, 7/1/98, 7/1/03, 9/1/08, 8/1/10