Program Summary - Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)
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Program Summary - Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA)

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose: This section describes the general eligibility requirements for refugees to receive cash assistance.

WAC 388-400-0030Who is eligible for refugee cash assistance?

WAC 388-400-0030

WAC 388-400-0030

Effective October 1, 2004

WAC 388-400-0030 Who is eligible for refugee cash assistance?

  1. To be eligible for refugee cash assistance (RCA), you must:

    1. Provide the name of the voluntary agency (VOLAG) which resettled you;

    2. Meet the immigration status requirements of WAC 388-466-0005;

    3. Meet employment and training requirements of WAC 388-466-0150;

    4. Meet income and resource requirements of WAC 388-466-0140; and

    5. Report changes of circumstances as required under WAC 388-418-0005.

  2. You are not eligible to receive RCA if you:

    1. Are eligible for temporary assistance for needy families (TANF) or Supplemental Security Income;

    2. Have been denied TANF or have been terminated from TANF due to intentional noncompliance with TANF eligibility requirements; or

    3. Are a full-time student in an institution of higher education.

  3. We determine your eligibility and benefit level for RCA using the TANF payment standards under WAC 388-478-0020.

  4. If you are eligible for RCA you may also be eligible for additional requirements for emergent needs under WAC 388-436-0002.

  5. If you meet the requirements of this section you are eligible for refugee cash assistance only during the eight-month period beginning in the first month you entered the United States (WAC 388-466-0120).

This is a reprint of the official rule as published by the Office of the Code Reviser. If there are previous versions of this rule, they can be found using the Legislative Search page.


Refugee Documentation

See Citizenship and Alien Status - Appendix I for acceptable documentation of a client's refugee status.

Asylum Documentation

The following documents are acceptable proof of a client’s asylee status and entry date:

  1. I-94 Arrival/Departure Card noting that the individual has been admitted:
    1. Under Section 208 of the INA; or

    2. With admission codes AS-1, AS-2, or AS-3; or

    3. With Visa 92 (V-92).

  2. I-571 United States Refugee Travel Document.  This document does not distinguish between refugees and asylees so contact INS to verify whether the individual is an asylee.

  3. I-688-B Employment Authorization Document with the provision of law 274a.12(a)(5).

  4. I-730 Asylum Approval Letter from an INS Asylum Office.

  5. I-766 Employment Authorization Document with the code A05.

  6. Written decision from the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA). The entry date will be the date on the decision.

  7. An order from an immigration judge granting asylum under Section 208 of the INA. The entry date will be:

    1. The date on an Immigration Judge Order if INS has waived right to appeal decision; or

    2. The 31st day from the date of an Immigration Judge Order if INS has reserved the right to appeal but chose not to.

NOTE: The order has a section that specifies whether the INS has waived or reserved its right to appeal. See Table I for further clarification.


Documentation and Situation


Benefit Eligibility (referring only to asylum status)

Entry Date (i.e., date asylum granted)

Immigration Judge Order with notation that appeal was waived by INS

No additional verification needed

Eligible for RCA

Date on Immigration Judge Order

Immigration Judge Order with notation that appeal was reserved by INS

No action can be taken until 30 days after the date on the Immigration Judge Order; on or after the 31st day, call Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) case status line at (800) 898-7180 to see whether INS has appealed

If INS did not appeal, the individual is an asylee and eligible for RCA

30 days after the date on the Immigration Judge Order (31st day);

Example: Immigration Judge Order dated September 1, 2000; INS did not appeal; Entry date is October 1, 2000

If INS appealed, the individual is not an asylee and not eligible for RCA

No entry date as asylum not yet granted; client is not eligible for RCA; **Note the client is a PRUCOL alien so consider eligibility for SFA/FAP

NOTE: Although the EOIR case status line is updated every 24 hours you may find that it does not contain the needed appeal information on the 31st day. The EOIR reports it may take up to 5 days after the appeal deadline for the information to be relayed to the case status line.

Asylum Entry Date for Family Members

The entry date for an asylee’s family members will depend on whether the family was included on the asylee’s original application for asylum and whether they were inside or outside of the United States when the individual applied. See Table II below for clarification.



Entry Date (i.e. date asylum granted)

Family members included in principal asylee’s application

Same entry date as principal asylee

Family members outside of the United States; I-730 process; Visa 92

Date that the family members enter the United States; date of entry should be noted on I-94 card.

Family members in the United States; not included on principal’s asylum application; I-730 process

Date that the I-730 application is approved; INS should issue an I-94Arrival / Departure card with this date; I-730 approval letter is also acceptable documentation


See REFUGEE ASSISTANCE for details on how to complete the ALAS screen.  Under the "Entry Date" field on the ALAS screen, enter the:
  1. Date asylum was granted for asylees; or

  2. Date the client entered the U.S. for all other refugees.


Modification Date: March 25, 2011