Important Note from the North Carolina State Refugee Coordinator
Important Note from the North Carolina State Refugee Coordinator P. Scott Phillips, PhD
As of May 21, 2022, the Additional Ukraine Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022 (AUSAA) authorizes the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide resettlement assistance and other benefits available for refugees to specific Ukrainian populations and other non-Ukrainian individuals in response to their displacement from Ukraine and entry into the United States. This means that these individuals are eligible to receive mainstream benefits (e.g., Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Medicaid, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income), resettlement assistance, and other benefits available to refugees, with the exception of an initial resettlement program.
North Carolina Refugee Service Providers
Across NC we are welcoming many Ukrainians through the Uniting for Ukraine Program. Given certain elements of this program these newly arrived Ukrainians and those who are sponsoring them, are not directly connected to refugee service providers who can help provide guidance as well as enroll eligible individuals into a wide range of programs.
We are encouraging individuals and their sponsors to actively reach out to and connect with a local refugee service provider agencies. You can find a list, along with the counties they serve and service areas they offer here: https://policies.ncdhhs.gov/divisional/social-services/refugee-assistance/policy-manuals/refugee-appendices/raxb.pdf
Given that we are expecting Ukrainian arrivals in over half the counties in NC, many individuals will be living in counties that are not familiar with refugee resettlement and have no refugee service provider who serves in that county. County Departments of Social services (DSS) (local Department of Social Services) have been made aware of the eligibility of Ukrainians with Humanitarian Parole status.
This resource sheet may be helpful when visiting the local DSS office:
Benefits for Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees | The Administration for Children and Families (hhs.gov)
Guidance provided from state agencies to the counties on eligibility to programs:
- Ukrainian populations and other non-Ukrainian individuals displaced from Ukraine for Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) Benefits and Services - Information Only
- Work First: Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolees Eligible for Work First - Information and Action Required
- Medicaid: Ukrainian Immigrants and Parolees
Please note: if your application was initially denied, you are encouraged to reapply or appeal as recently released guidance may change the outcome.
Social Security applications
Standard Social Security Administration policy should be followed which includes either presentation of employment authorization (I-766 EAD) from DHS or the requirement for a valid non-work letter from a benefit-granting agency. Individuals will be visiting local DSS agencies to apply for services and the Social Security Administration can use the letters they receive from the DSS agencies (as long as they meet certain requirements) as a valid non-work reason to let them apply for a Social Security card and number (SSN).
Health screenings and required vaccines
Ukrainians arriving through the U4U program and perhaps others as well may be required to have certain testing and vaccinations and may be asked by DHS for proof that these tests and vaccines were completed. Originally arriving Ukrainians had only 14 days to be tested for tuberculosis and attest to DHS that it was completed. This has been extended to 90 days to allow people more time to apply for Medicaid and to find affordable or covered testing services.
Ukrainian arrivals are eligible for Refugee Medical Screening services, but only a limited number of county health departments have services specific to refugee populations. However, all counties have local health departments and have much to offer including but not limited to tuberculosis screening, school physicals and vaccinations. Some health departments may also be able to provide primary care services and be a medical home. There are also many community health centers in North Carolina that offer primary care and medical services.
Apply for Medicaid and/or Refugee Medical Assistance:
Local/county health departments:
Community health centers:
Medical Guidance to Prepare for and Promote Household Health and Safety When Hosting Ukrainian Families and Individuals
Information for healthcare providers:
Ukrainian Clinical Guidance
Finally, thank you to all the sponsors who have stepped forward to welcome Ukrainians to North Carolina. We appreciate your good will and are here to help support you all as we can. Please read through the excellent guidance provided on the role of the sponsor (Welcome.US | Explainer):
“Sponsors create the support systems that ensure newcomers can thrive. Sponsors are neighbors, cheerleaders, and guides for people starting on a long, difficult, and exciting journey.
More specifically, sponsors are responsible for finding safe and appropriate housing for newcomers. They support newcomers in ensuring health needs are met, kids are enrolled in school, and adults find work, among other factors.”
Here are additional resources for the U4U program:
Uniting for Ukraine | Homeland Security (dhs.gov)
P. Scott Phillips, PhD
Division of Social Services, Economic and Family Services
NC Department of Health and Human Services
820 S. Boylan Avenue, McBryde Building/Hargrove Wing
Raleigh, NC 27603