Legal Information: Federal

Immigration

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Updated: 
May 6, 2013

What specific federally-funded benefits are available to me?

Once you have obtained certification (or a letter of eligibility if you are under 18), you may receive benefits from any federal program or federally-funded state program.  We have listed possible benefits you may be eligible for below.  To apply for any of these benefits, be sure to bring your certification or letter of eligibility with you. (The service provider will verify your certification or eligibility letter by calling the Trafficking Victim Verification line at (866) 401-5510).  You can find additional information in HHS's Resource Guide.

1. Financial Help
Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
– TANF provides assistance and work opportunities to needy families with children under 18 years of age.  The program is implemented by state agencies.  Certified victims of human trafficking (and victims under 18 years old who have obtained letters of eligibility) should apply through their local social services agency. 

Food Stamp Program – Food stamps can be used like cash to pay for food at most grocery stores.  Certified victims of human trafficking (and victims under 18 years old who have obtained letters of eligibility) can apply through their local Social Security offices.  To find your closest Social Security office, click here.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI provides benefits for people who are blind, have severe disabilities, or are at least 65 years old and have limited income and resources. Certified victims of human trafficking can apply through their local Social Security offices.  To find your closest Social Security office, click here.

Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance (RCA & RMA) – If you are ineligible for TANF, SSI, and Medicaid, you may be eligible for RCA and RMA, which provide cash and medical assistance for the first 8 months following certification or eligibility. 

Matching Grant Program – The Matching Grant Program is administered by Volunteer Agencies (called VOLAGs) as an alternative to refugee cash assistance.  It provides employment services, living assistance (including food or food subsidies, housing assistance, and transportation), and cash allowance. 

2. Health Care
Torture Treatment Program – HHS-funded social, legal, health, and psychological services for victims of torture.  To find survivor resources, click here.

State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) – SCHIP (also called CHIP) is a public health insurance program available to low-income, uninsured children under 18 years of age who do not qualify for Medicaid.  Because the program is administered by state agencies, you will need to contact your state’s local social services agency for more information. 

Medicaid – Medicaid is a government-funded health insurance program for people with low income and limited resources.  Because the program is administered by state agencies, you will need to contact your state’s local social services agency for more information. 

3. Social Services
Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program – This program provides resettlement and foster care services for unaccompanied minor refugees and trafficking victims.  For more information, click here

4. Employment
One-Stop Career Center System
- If you are looking for employment, Career One-Stop may be able to assist you.  Local centers provide information and assistance for finding employment and obtaining education and training.  To locate a One-Stop career service center near you, click here

Job Corps – The Department of Labor oversees this free job-training and education program for youths between the ages of 16 and 24.  To learn more about Job Corps, go here.

5. Housing
Certified victims of human trafficking may be eligible for public housing assistance.  Your local social services agency may be able to assist you in locating the proper public housing authority.

6. Other
State-Specific Programs
– States may have additional programs for certified victims of human trafficking.  Your local social services agency may be able to assist you in figuring out what may be available to you.

Note: The above information is adapted from the HHS’s Administration for Children and Families Victim Assistance Fact Sheet.  The fact sheet is also available in the following languages: