Refugee Assistance & Services

Check Eligibility & Apply for Benefits buttonThe Refugee Assistance Program is a federally funded program which helps persons admitted into the U.S. as refugees to become self-sufficient after their arrival. Temporary refugee cash assistance is available to eligible refugees who do not qualify for cash assistance (through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program), Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid.


Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance

The Refugee Assistance Program is a federally funded program which helps persons admitted into the U.S. as refugees to become self-sufficient after their arrival. Temporary refugee cash assistance is available to eligible refugees who do not qualify for cash assistance (through the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program), Supplemental Security Income or Medicaid. 

Eligibility for refugee cash and medical assistance is available for up to eight months after entry into the U.S., or date asylum was granted, if you have one of the following immigration statuses: 

  • Refugee or Asylee.
  • Cuban/Haitian entrant.
  • Amerasian.
  • Victim of trafficking.
  • Iraqi or Afghan Special Immigrant VISA (SIV) holders.

 

Immigration status is determined by officials from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. 

 

Eligibility 

Asset Limits  Income  Residency Requirements 

The cash asset limit is $3,000. Assets are cash or any property you own.

Cash assets include:

  • Cash on hand
  • Bank and credit union accounts
  • Investments
  • Retirement plans
  • Trusts
  • Property or real estate (asset limit is $200,000)

Assets such as your vehicles and personal belongings are not counted. 

Most earned and unearned income is counted. Income is considered when determining the amount of assistance you are eligible for. 

Examples of countable income are:
  • Wages
  • Self-employment earnings
  • Rental income
  • Child support
  • Social Security benefits
  • Veterans benefits

The following residency requirements apply: 

  • Must live in Michigan
  • Must not be receiving cash assistance from any other state.

 

Refugee Health Screening and Health Promotion

Health Screening
MDHHS Office of Refugee Services partners with local health departments and clinics in each of the seven major geographic resettlement areas of the state to provide health screenings to newly arriving refugees on a per capita basis.

 

Health Promotion Services
The program provides a preventive health care liaison in each contracted agency to ensure each refugee needing referral or follow-up medical services will get the necessary assistance and education. 

 

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

The Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program provides foster care services to unaccompanied refugee, asylee, trafficked, and special immigrant juvenile youth. The URM Program helps unaccompanied minors develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency.

 

Other Refugee Assistance & Services
The Michigan Office of New Americans, within Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, houses the Refugee State Coordinators office. That office coordinates additional services related to employment, education, URM administration and older refugee.