Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) is available for persons ineligible for federal cash assistance such as TANF (typically those without minor children). RCA is an employment-based program that can assist refugees financially while they are searching for their first job in the U.S. and attending English classes. RCA is only available for a maximum of 8 months after a refugee arrives in the U.S. Recipients become ineligible when they reach 150% of the federal poverty level or their 240th Day in the U.S., whichever comes first. The average time recipients remained on RCA in FY17 was 128 days (4.3 months).
Kentucky also administers a TANF differential program for refugees who have been in the U.S. for less than 8 months. Wilson Fish states where the TANF payment rate is lower than the ORR payment ceiling can offer a differential payment. This program began in Kentucky on October 1st, 2015. Eligibility is tied to the receipt of TANF and refugees are no longer eligible for the differential when the household becomes income ineligible for TANF, or when they reach their 240th Day in the U.S., whichever comes first. The average time refugees remained on the TANF differential in FY17 was 170 days (5.6 months).
The refugee resettlement agencies in Kentucky administer the RCA and TANF Differential programs.