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ISSUE DATE: 03/2017

The DHS Resettlement Programs Office (RPO) contracts with community-based agencies to provide Refugee Employment Services for people with eligible status. For more information about eligible status, see 0030 (Refugee Assistance Programs).

The objective goal of Refugee Employment Services (RES) is to ensure that participants achieve self-sufficiency through employment as soon as possible after arrival to the United States. RES providers offer cultural expertise, language access, and a full range of employment services, including development of individualized employment plans, job readiness classes, resume writing, mock interviewing, interview/work clothing assistance, job search support, job placement, interpretation for interviews and job orientation, employer support and follow-up through 90 days post-employment.

RES are supplemental to mainstream services and are not available in every county or community. For a list of current Refugee Employment Service Providers and their locations, see the 2016-2017 Directory of Refugee Service Providers (PDF).


RCA participants must enroll with RES/ES within 30 days of RCA eligibility approval. RES/ ES enrollment, participation and compliance are mandatory for all RCA participants, unless they meet one of the following exemptions:

Employed at least 30 hours per week.

Age 60 or over.

Temporarily or permanently ill or disabled. Verification from a medical authority is required if the illness or disability is expected to last more than 30 days. See MEDICAL CERTIFICATION in 0002.39 (Glossary: Lump Sum...).

Responsible for the care of a spouse who is ill or disabled. Verification from a medical authority is required if the illness or disability is expected to last more than 30 days.

Experiencing a personal or family crisis, as determined by the agency. Redetermine such an exemption monthly.

Limited English language skill does NOT exempt a RCA participant from enrollment in employment services, participation in employment service programs, or acceptance of appropriate offers of employment.


Where RES are available, RCA participants must be referred to RES.

Where RES are NOT available, refer RCA participants to SNAP Employment &Training (E&T).

Where neither RES nor SNAP E&T are available, refer RCA participants to another locally available resource, such as a WorkForce Center or Job Development Center.

The WorkForce One (WF1) interface is not set-up for RCA electronic referrals to ESPs. All communication must be done by paper. Refer all mandatory RCA ES participants using the Refugee Cash Assistance Program Employment Services Referral (DHS-3166R) (PDF). FAX the referral to the ESP.

Promptly refer RCA participants who are disabled or age 65 or older to SSA to apply for SSI. No SSI Interim Assistance Authorization (DHS-1795) (PDF) is required and no RCA overpayment results, as SSA budgets the RCA benefits as income for SSI grants. When SSI approval is verified, close the RCA case. See 0030.21 (Closing RCA).

When a RCA participant fails to comply with program requirements, or reaches his/her 8th month of eligibility, terminate or close the case. See 0030.21 (Closing RCA).

RCA participants who are eligible for federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits but no longer participating in RES, must participate in SNAP E&T activities unless they meet an exemption. See 0028.06.03 (Who Must Participate in Empl. Services/SNAP E&T).


RCA: Employment-exempt RCA participants may volunteer to participate in RES (or other available employment services in areas where RES is unavailable). Volunteer participants must participate on the same level as mandatory participants. If a volunteer participant fails to comply with RES requirements, close the RES case. The volunteer participant remains eligible for RCA through his/her 8-month eligibility period.

Non-Public Assistance: RES is voluntary for individuals not on public assistance who meet RES eligibility. NPA individuals may self-refer to an RES provider.

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