Refugee Resettlement Program Certification Periods Extended-COVID-19

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Policy Memo

  • The Federal Administration for Children and Families/Office of Refugee Resettlement (ACF/ORR) has issued guidance regarding extending emergency support for refugees and asylees due to unemployment resulting from the COVID-19 health crisis.
  • Effective immediately, the cash and medical eligibility period under the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) will be extended from 8 months up to 18 months for RRP cases that were active prior to 02/01/2020. 
  • RRP cases expected to cancel due to receiving cash assistance for 8 months will be identified centrally in IES and the cash benefit certification period will be extended through 09/30/2020.
  •  Individuals approved for RRP on or after 04/01/2019 and have had their case canceled due to receiving 8 months of benefits, or due to change of circumstances (such as employments income), may reapply and receive additional benefits through 09/30/2020, if determined eligible.
  • A Client Notice 20.11 will be mailed to the affected cases to inform customers of this change.

Due to the COVID-19 health crisis and resulting unemployment, the Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) has approved an extension for the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP) cash and medical eligibility period from 8 months up to 18 months for customers who are about to terminate from the program or who have successfully exited the program and then subsequently either lost employment or sustained a reduction in hours that would requalify them for RRP. This policy does not apply to RRP applications filed on or after 02/01/2020.

Active RRP Cases

Active RRP cases that are expected to close due to receiving 8 months of cash eligibility have been identified in IES. Certification periods will be extended through 09/30/2020 for customers who became eligible for RRP cash assistance on or after 04/01/2019. 

Inactive RRP Cases

RRP customers that were approved on or after 04/30/2019 and have had their case canceled due to receiving 8 months of benefits or due to change of circumstances (such as employments income), may reapply and receive additional benefits through 09/30/2020, if determined eligible. These applications should be sent to Special Units at

Client Notice

A client notice CN 20.11/CN 20.11S (pdf) will be mailed to inform customers of the change in their RRP cash certification period.

[signed copy on file]

Grace B. Hou

Secretary, Illinois Department of Human Services

Theresa Eagleson

Director, Healthcare and Family Services