public assistance faqs

How much money does a family receive through Public Assistance? 

The amount of assistance a family is provided through the Department of Human Assistance (DHA) or Social Security Income (SSI) is based on their rent, income, and family size. These benefits are designed to cover basic necessities and will most likely not be enough for rent or extra needs. Although some families might be open to sharing information about their benefits, some families may not feel comfortable inviting you into this part of their life. Please remember to be mindful of questions regarding their finances.   


How does a new source of income affect benefits? 

Gaining employment or any extra income will affect benefits. A family must report this information to the Department of Human Assistance (DHA). If the income amount is higher than their threshold, a family might have their benefits lowered or stopped. Please see the Public Assistance page, Reporting Income Changes for more information.


What happens if the DHA states they will be stopping a family's cash benefits?

This usually happens after a family's income exceeds what is allowable to maintain cash benefits. Visiting the family's DHA caseworker to discuss the matter would be the best way to resolve the issue or find ways to work with their decision.


What does reporting activity hours for Welfare to Work (WTW) look like? 

Each month, every family member participating in WTW will receive a paper in the mail to log activity hours for the previous month (will receive a log sheet for August in September). There will be a deadline, which is usually the two weeks after the month starts, for submitting the log written on the paper. 


What happens if a family doesn't receive important cards (i.e. SS cards, medical cards, green cards)? 

Social Security cards usually take about 2-4 weeks to be received and will be sent to World Relief's office. If a family is missing any SS cards, they must tell their caseworker and World Relief Staff will assist in taking the family back to the Social Security Card Office.  


Medical cards take about 2-4 weeks to be received and will be sent to the address provided to the DHA (apartment, US Tie's, World Relief). If a family is missing any medical cards, they must go to the DHA, talk to their caseworker about having it fixed and get a temporary medical card in the meantime.   


Green Cards are received by World Relief anywhere from 2 to 6 months after arrival, although recently most SIVs have been receiving them under 2 months. Families will wait longer before going to USCIS because of the longer receipt time.