Timely issuance of Refugee Cash Assistance benefits

The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has issued instructions regarding timely issuance of Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) to and guidelines for nonparticipation in employment services.

RCA provides 12 months of cash assistance for refugees who are ineligible for other programs.  States must determine eligibility for RCA within 30 days of application.

When benefits are issued, recipients must begin to participate in employment services.  Benefits should not be withheld awaiting proof of registration for employment service.  Recipients must register for employment services within 30 days of receiving benefits.  Failure to register and participate in employment services within the first 30 days of receiving benefits without good cause will cause benefits to be discontinued.  Good cause includes failure to obtain work authorization when the delay is not the recipient’s fault.

Disclosure of an applicant’s Social Security number is not required for RCA.

If the recipient does not comply with employment participation requirements without good cause, they are ineligible for RCA for three months for the first occurrence, and six months for each subsequent occurrence.  (ACIN I-20-23, May 12, 2023.)