Refugee Resettlement

The Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP), is a federal program authorized by Title IV of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. §§1521 et seq). It is designed to “provide permanent and systematic procedures for the admission to this country of refugees of special humanitarian concern to the United States, and to provide comprehensive and uniform provisions for the effective resettlement and absorption of those refugees who are admitted.”

Since 1975, the South Carolina Department of Social Services has been designated by the Governor of South Carolina as the State Agency responsible for the development and administration of the Refugee Resettlement Program for South Carolina. SCDSS remains the designated agency responsible for the administration of the Refugee Resettlement Program (RRP).

Refugee Resettlement Program coordinates activities to enable refugees and others resettled in South Carolina to reach economic self-sufficiency and social self-reliance as rapidly as possible. Its goals and objectives will comply with those specified in the Refugee Act of 1980 and, in doing so, RRP has two concurrent objectives:

a. Provide cash, medical and any other emergency assistance needed by individuals eligible for Refugee Resettlement services in order for them to obtain adequate living conditions.

b. Provide the necessary tools and opportunities for the elimination of obstacles standing in the way of refugees eligible for resettlement services while moving toward economic self-sufficiency and social self-reliance.

The objectives are met by providing the following services on a time-limited basis:
a. Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA), which provides cash payment to eligible refugees.
b. The RCA program is modeled after South Carolina’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash assistance program called Family Independence (FI).
c. Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA), which provides medical assistance to eligible refugee populations.
d. Refugee Social Services (RSS), which provides employment assistance, case management and other services.

South Carolina does not expend any state funds on the Refugee Resettlement Program. Provision of all services included in this State Plan are subject to the constraints and limitations of continued and continuous availability of Federal funds at the 100% level.

The Refugee Resettlement Program operates from the State DSS Office in Columbia, SC. All Refugee Program services and benefits are coordinated and available on a statewide basis to eligible refugee populations in counties where they live. The majority of new refugee arrivals settle in Richland, Greenville, Lexington, Charleston, Dorchester, and Spartanburg Counties. Services are coordinated in conjunction with the Voluntary Resettlement Agencies (VOLAGs) operating in the state.