In all of our sites except Seattle, public agencies rely on local CBOs to provide interpretation services, generally free of charge. Specifically, agencies often turn to resettlement agencies to provide interpretation for refugee applicants. In most of the study sites, agency staff reported that refugee resettlement agencies often help refugees with limited English proficiency complete benefit applications before they come to the office.
Aside from refugee agencies, local CBOs, often with immigrant or ethnic affiliations, also assist with interpretation and application assistance. Because CBO staff have other responsibilities and are not always immediately available when the applicant arrives at the welfare office, some agency workers reported increased waiting times for limited English speaking applicants when CBO staff are asked to serve as interpreters.