What: Since every refugee will receive some kind of cash assistance, he/she will need a bank account in which to deposit funds (and out of which to pay his/her own bills). When: Regular banking hours; once the refugee has a State I.D. or an employment authorization document (E.A.D.) volunteers should help with calling the banker to make an appointment. Where: Any local bank
What to Bring:
- Social Security Card
- State ID
- A check that the refugee needs to deposit (Must have the refugee’s name on the check)
The same as setting up a bank account for a non-refugee.
NOTE: Volunteers should let the refugees take the initiative, letting them figure out where to go (“information” or “customer service”) or how to ask to set up a bank account. Volunteers should see if they can fill out the paperwork; they should help them along without taking the lead and doing things for the refugees. The goal is to familiarize refugees with this process as well as setup a bank account.
NOTE: Refugees are highly encouraged to do online banking with a free checking account. The clients should try to use their bank account at least 10 times per month and opt-in into receiving their monthly bank statements online. Otherwise, there may be a service fee for receiving monthly bank statements in the mail and for using the account less than 10 times per month. NOTE: Some refugees will receive checks before they receive a bank account. This is okay. Refugees will have to wait for the bank account to be established in order to cash the checks. WR helps with necessary ‘pocket money’ (their initial ’welcome money’) until refugees are able to withdraw from the bank on their own.