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Mailing mix-ups delayed social security playing cards for Afghan refugees

Share this…FacebookPinterestTwitterLinkedin November 25, 2021 4:33 PM Posted: November 25, 2021 4:33 PM Up to date: November 25, 2021 4:44…

By Staff , in Social Security , at November 26, 2021

Barbara Davidson

Members of the U.S. army and Afghan refugees play soccer on the Fort McCoy U.S. Military base on Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 in Fort McCoy, Wis. The fort is one among eight army installations throughout the nation which might be quickly housing the tens of 1000’s of Afghans who had been pressured to flee their homeland in August after the U.S. withdrew its forces from Afghanistan and the Taliban took management.

MADISON, Wis. — Logistical mailing points have helped delay social security playing cards for Afghan refugees throughout the nation, with organizations unable to get playing cards mailed to folks as a result of they’ve comparable names to different refugees or have left army bases, says a spokesperson for the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Not one of the 36 Afghan refugees at present resettled in Madison because the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August have obtained their playing cards but, in keeping with Madison’s refugee resettlement company, Jewish Social Providers.

“It’s a federal situation, and till the Social Security Administration will get it found out, it’s not going to assist our shoppers,” JSS govt director Daybreak Berney stated.

Whereas refugees have been capable of get short-term 30-day meals stamp advantages in Madison, they’re left with no technique to entry short-term earnings or their common meals stamp advantages with out social security playing cards. Refugees with a social security quantity can entry short-term earnings advantages, like Wisconsin Works (W-2) or refugee money help–applications that usually final for eight to 9 months.

“They want their social security card to submit the paperwork,” Berney defined. “So that they don’t have earnings in any respect by any means, and that could be a drawback.”

Mail confusion results in card delays

Weeks in the past, Information 3 Investigates requested the U.S. Social Security Administration for extra details about why Afghan refugees had been experiencing delays in getting their social security playing cards.

This week, a spokesperson for the SSA Chicago regional workplace informed Information 3 Investigates that the company had “just lately discovered” of logistical points impacting card deliveries for Afghan refugees, involving the Division of Homeland Security and a third-party non-profit, the Worldwide Group of Migration.

“For instance, we’ve heard that some folks have very comparable or frequent names, and others have moved off army bases,” SSA regional communications director Doug Nguyen stated in an e-mail.

Moreover, some paperwork has been mailed to army bases after Afghan refugees already left the bottom, Berney informed Information 3 Investigates.

“I do know that one of many points are that some paperwork is being despatched to the Military bases the place households aren’t anymore, so whether or not it’s Fort McCoy or Fort Bliss or Fort Lee, they’re simply not there to obtain no matter paperwork is arriving. That’s not serving to,” Berney stated.

The SSA had been working with the DHS and the IOM to mail playing cards to a centralized deal with, from which level the IOM had difficulties getting the playing cards to their closing vacation spot.

RELATED: Issues over medical care, anxious to go away: An Afghan journalist’s plight at Fort McCoy

“Whereas we efficiently issued SSN playing cards for these people through EBE, the IOM has not been capable of get the playing cards to all of them,” Nguyen stated.

Feds hope customized identifier will resolve situation

The SSA is now addressing the problems by reissuing SSN playing cards to refugees, this time with an automatic distinctive identifier on the deal with line of the mailing envelope that’s related to the refugee’s utility.

The concept is that the identifier will assist IOM then get the playing cards to the right refugee, utilizing their present deal with and mailing again any playing cards to the SSA that aren’t deliverable.

“I feel that may assist mitigate it fairly a bit,” Berney stated when she discovered of the answer.

The combination-ups affected refugees who at present maintain a Particular Immigrant Visa and utilized for a social security card via the Enumeration Past Entry course of, Nguyen stated. The SIV is a specialised federal visa program for Afghan and Iraqi people who labored for the U.S. federal authorities offering help and providers to troops and different federal authorities staff.

RELATED: An reasonably priced housing disaster: Afghan refugees in Madison

Nguyen didn’t say what number of refugees had been impacted or present particular knowledge on what number of playing cards had been delayed by the mailing mix-ups. He additionally didn’t particularly say whether or not playing cards had been mailed to the unsuitable folks or misplaced because of the mix-ups.

Different points have contributed to delays, Berney beforehand defined to Information 3 Now, together with pandemic adjustments to the applying course of. It was that refugees might get an appointment and obtain a card inside 24 hours, Berney stated. Now, digital strategies have stretched the method longer.

In the meantime, refugees with short-term meals stamp playing cards may very well be again to relying on grocery retailer present playing cards if the difficulty isn’t resolved quickly.

“If their playing cards are usually not processed with the subsequent month, then they’ll lose that and must undergo the method another time,” Berney stated.

RELATED: At Fort McCoy, Staff Rubicon set to withdraw; officers say all Afghan refugees now have ‘winter layers’

Searching for methods to assist refugees in Madison?

  • Donate money, primary grocery or Amazon present playing cards to Jewish Social Providers or Open Doorways for Refugees
  • JSS can also be at present on the lookout for volunteers to assist refugees transfer into flats, significantly volunteers who may help with heavier gadgets like furnishings

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