BLOG: WHERE CAN I GET ASSISTANCE IF I AM A FREFUGEE OR ASYLEE
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has created the REFUGEE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RAP) which is a federally funded program to help refugees entering the United States become self-sufficient. RAP provides funding to private refugee resettlement programs and the individual states to distribute cash benefits called the REFUGEE CASH ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RCA) and deliver medical services called the REFUGEE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (RMA).
Eligible individuals will receive these entitlements for 8 months.
Applicants must have credentialed correspondence from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) or the Department of Customs indicating the person has one of the following status:
3. Afghan or Iraqi citizens who receive special immigrant visa (SIV) endorsement
4. Cuban or Haitian admitted into the United States and satisfy entrant criteria;
5. persons who are paroled from foreign countries under certain conditions;
6. Amerasians from Vietnam; and
7. Documented victims of human trafficking.
Children and spouses of refugees and asylees can have a ‘derivative’ status which allows them to be part
of the programs as well.
The applicant may not have more than $ 3,000.00 cash assets. The program does not count the value of a vehicle, personal property or real estate under $ 250,000.00;
The applicant must live in Michigan;
The applicant must not be receiving any assistance from any other state or federal program such as Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program. If the applicant choses to take advantage of programs under RAP, he or she must no longer accept assistance from sponsored private refugee resettlement programs or voluntary agencies (VOLAGs) which are described below.
HOW TO APPLY ON LINE FOR RCA AND RMA BENEFITS
1. Go to https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs
2. On the top line under the picture banner there is a row of blue boxes with topic written in each one. Select ‘ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS’.
3. When the topics drop down select ‘CASH ASSISTANCE’. Do not select ‘REFUGEE ASSISTANCE’ because that page will give information about the programs for refugees but is not a portal and will not allow you to register and apply for benefits.
4. Click on ‘APPLICATION PROCESS’ which is a blue rectangular box half way down the page.
5. Click on ‘MIBRIDGES’.
6. If it your first time applying for benefits with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) you will have to register by providing your name, address, phone number, social security number and Medicaid identification number if you have one.
7. You will be instructed not to press the back button on the site and not on the browser.
8. The application will ask what language do you prefer to write and speak in. Arabic is available as a selection.
The process goes on to ask additional questions regarding
a. Household members;
b. Household details;
f. Program details; and
g. final details and submission.
9. Ultimately you will meet with a case worker at a local MDHHS who will verify the information. He or she may also advise you of other assistance programs or resources in the community. They may also explain to you all of your reporting requirements.
10. If you are denied benefits, there are limited appeal rights. For most MDHHS programs you have 30 days to appeal although in some instances it may be longer or shorter.
IF YOU CANNOT APPLY ON LINE, YOU CAN GO INTO THE MDHHS OFFICE CLOSEST TO YOUR HOME AND A CASE WORKER WILL ASSIST YOU IN MAKING YOUR APPLICATION.
Michigan’s RAP is administered by the Michigan Office for New Americans (MONA) which is part of the Department of Licensing and Legal Affairs (LARA).
Michigan Office for New Americans 611 W. Ottawa Street 4th Floor Lansing, MI 48933 517-335-1181
THERE ARE PRIVATE MICHIGAN GROUPS THAT RECEIVE FUNDS FROM THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF POPULATION, REFUGEES AND MIGRATION (RPM) TO ASSIST REFUGEES IN THE EARLY PHASES OF RECEPTION AND RESSETTLEMENT
1. US Committees for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI)
13942 Michigan Ave. Upper Level, Suite 1 Dearborn, MI 48126
Tel: (313) 581-4420 Fax: (313) 581-4472 Email: email@example.com
a. Provides community connection services
b. Links to Health Care
c. Immediate access to food, shelter and clothing;
d. Employment search and placement services;
e. Legal representation;
f. Interpretation services;
g. Educational services.
2. Jewish Family Services
2245 S. State St., Ste 200 Ann Arbor, MI 48104 Tel: (734) 769-0209 Fax: (734) 769-0224
a. Provides reception and placement services
b. Post resettlement services
c. Refugee Youth Services
d. Refugee Health Screening
3. Bethany Christian Services
901 Eastern Avenue NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Provides a full array of services for refugees in Kent County.