Refugee Benefit Program

Refugees arriving in the United States, and in particular Twin Falls, are eligible for federally prescribed benefits. While some benefit levels after arrival vary from state to state and resettlement program to program, many are standard. The family is eligible for a medical card for the first eight months in the U.S., with some extensions possible for families with children. Each family is eligible for food stamps based on their income. As they become employed, those benefits are reduced or terminated according to the same standards as any other American in that state.

Each voluntary agency resettling refugees is provided an amount per refugee that goes to pay for the initial resettlement of the refugee family. Each national agency determines how much of that is passed on to the local affiliate or office. That amount pays for the first monthís rent and deposit, beginning foodstuffs, limited startup household items as prescribed by the Federal government, some pocket money, and for the administrative costs of running the resettlement program (staff, facilities, etc)

After the first thirty days in Idaho, a cash assistance program (TRA- Transitional Refugee Assistance)based on the family size begins. In Idaho the amount is determined by the family size, and runs for up to eight months. Cash assistance terminates the month after employment starts, or at the end of the eight month, which ever comes first. During that period, all individuals between the ages of 18 and 65, that have not been determined as disabled or handicapped are expected to participate in English language classes and job search activities. Failure to participate when mandatory for employment can mean loss of benefits.

Individuals can be enrolled in Match Grant instead of the TRA cash assistance program after the first thirty days. That program is described on the Match Grant page.