Ukrainians paroled in the U.S. between February 24, 2022, and September 30, 2023, are eligible for public benefits and social services. This includes people in the Uniting for Ukraine Program. Learn what these benefits are and how to receive them.
What are public benefits?
Public Benefits are help from the U.S. government for important things like healthcare, housing, food, or money. These programs are meant to assist people and families who don’t have enough money for basic needs. They ensure that U.S. citizens and some people with specific immigration statuses can get what they need to live.
What benefits and services are available to Ukrainian parolees?
How to apply
Social services funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR)
You can get help with jobs, case management, English classes, and more. Some people may be eligible for the Matching Grant program which also includes cash assistance. These services are provided by refugee resettlement offices and community-based organizations (NGOs).
The types of services provided will be different from one place to another.
Find your local resettlement agency and connect to other local services with FindHello.
Public cash assistance
You may be eligible to receive cash assistance. The amount that you receive and the length of time you can receive it will depend on your family size, age, and the place where you live. Once you get a job, the amount can go down or stop.
Public cash programs include ORR Refugee Cash Assistance (for adults without children); Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for families with children; and the Supplemental Security Income program for older adults and people with disabilities.
You can apply for public cash assistance through your local department of health and human services.
Healthcare and medical insurance
You can apply for Medicaid through your state Medicaid office.
Monthly food assistance through SNAP (Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program)
SNAP is a government program that helps people pay for food when they do not have enough money.
You will receive a card that is like a debit card to use at the grocery store. The amount of money you receive will depend on what state you are in and how many people are in your family. Once you start working the amount may go down or stop.
You can apply for food assistance through your local department of health and human services.
You will usually apply for food and cash assistance at the same time.
Help for families with children
If you have children, you might be able to get help to pay for child care when parents are working.
You may also be able to get support for young children including preschool, home visits, and food assistance provided through Head Start; the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program; and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC).
If you want to learn more about these services or apply for help, ask your caseworker at your local department of health and human services.
Help with jobs
There are programs to help you find a job, prepare a resume, and access other services like English classes or job training programs.
Learn more about finding a job in the U.S.
You can get help through your resettlement office or local programs through the department of workforce services.
Who can receive benefits?
You can apply for these benefits if you had to leave Ukraine because of the invasion and you have been granted parole status in the U.S. You must have been paroled between February 24, 2022 – September 30, 2023.
- Ukrainians who entered the U.S. through the Uniting for Ukraine program and received parole status.
- People from other countries who were living in Ukraine at the time of the invasion and who have been granted parole.
If you came to the United States with refugee or asylee status, you are eligible for these benefits, as well as additional reception and placement services through your local resettlement agency.
How long do the benefits last?
You are eligible to apply for benefits until the end of your parole period. Some benefits, such as social services, may be available the entire time you are in the United States. Other benefits, like cash aid, might have limits based on time or income level.
If you were paroled into the U.S. before Uniting for Ukraine was announced, your parole period may now be extended for 1 year.
What documents do I need to apply for benefits?
If you are a Ukrainian citizen who came through the Uniting for Ukraine Program, you will need ONE of the following:
- Form I-94 noting parole
- Foreign passport with DHS/CBP admission stamp noting “DT”
- Foreign passport with DHS/CBP admission stamp noting Uniting for Ukraine or “U4U”
- Foreign passport with DHS/CBP admission stamp noting Ukrainian Humanitarian Parolee or “UHP”
- Form I-765 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) receipt notice with code C11
- Form I-766 Employment Authorization Document (EAD) with the code C11
If you are a non-Ukrainian who lived in Ukraine at the time of the invasion and you have received parole in the U.S. you must have both of the following:
- Any one of the forms or stamps listed above for UHPs
- Documentation of long term residence in Ukraine
Can I get a work permit?
Once you are paroled into the United States, you will be able to apply for an Employment Authorization Document (also called an EAD card). Your EAD card will only be for the length of your parole status. You can apply with USCIS using Form I-765. There is no fee to apply.
Certain Ukrainian parolees do not need to wait for the approval of Form I-765 to work in the USA. Your unexpired Form I-94 can be proof that you can work for the first 90 days at your job. After that, you will need to show an EAD and unrestricted Social Security card.
If you were paroled into the U.S. before Uniting for Ukraine and your parole period is extended, then your work permit will also be extended for 1 year.
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