Refugee Assistance in Jacksonville, FL: What Kind of Support is Offered?

The Refugee Cash Assistance or RCA program was established by the Federal government to help all humanitarian immigrants and eligible refugees apply for cash assistance. The assistance is offered for eight months from the date of the refugee’s arrival in the United States.

The RCA program is available for all eligible refugees who do not have minor children. To date, many organizations for refugee assistance in Jacksonville, FL, take up this program as a part of their work and help immigrants meet their basic needs in a foreign land. Not only that, but since 2021, the city has been seeing a rise in new arrivals.

So, what is this program all about, and what support is available for eligible refugees? This article discusses all that.

Eligibility Criteria for RCA

The following are the eligibility criteria to avail of cash assistance under RCA –

  • The refugee should meet the status requirement for a refugee. This means they should be an Asylee, an Amerasian, a Cuban-Haitian, a certified victim of human trafficking, or a special immigrant with a Visa for Iraq or Afghanistan.
  • The refugee must be willing to participate in work and training (after compliance with all COVID-19 health protocols and closures).
  • All refugees and those with special immigrant Visas must provide the name of the agency that resettled them.
  • Refugees must furnish documents that verify their immigration status and date of arrival as issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  • The refugee must have a total cash resource lower than $6000. However, if there are resources like vehicles or a household, these are exempt.

What Can Disqualify You from Seeking RCA?

Refugee assistance in Jacksonville, FL, can be denied if you –

  • Are currently availing of Matching Grant Funds,
  • Are a part of the full-time student force of any institution for higher education unless that course is a part of a State-approved employability plan,
  • Prove to be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), and
  • Your eligibility for TANF has been declined due to non-compliance with eligibility requirements,

What Support is Refugees Offered under RCA?

All eligible refugees arriving in Jacksonville, Florida, will be entitled to benefits similar to public cash benefits established by the State government. This means eligible refugees can avail of assistance for all basic needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and transportation.

Remember that the cash assistance amount offered in Florida will differ from those provided by other states. This is because the budget estimates of each state are different.

Take an example – a married couple without children may receive an amount of $459. If one or both work, half of their earnings are taken against the grant. If their combined earnings exceed $839, they will cease to receive RCA.

A Final Word

Ultimately, it also comes down to the agency you apply with regarding RCA. But, again, a reliable organization for refugee assistance in Jacksonville, FL, will guide you and do their best to provide you with the help you need.

The right agency can make you feel at home even in a foreign land! Of course, you may not find familiar faces, sounds, and places, but you’ll undoubtedly sense a familiar warmth, greetings, and love. Therefore, you should carefully consider all the factors and make a wise choice.

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Jarvis Abbott