Refugee Assistance

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 and refugee medical 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 is available for up to eight months after entry into the U.S. Employment services, health screenings and foster care services for unaccompanied minors are other programs available to refugees.

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.
  • Parolee.
  • Victim of trafficking.
  • Iraqi or Afghan Special Immigrant VISA (SIV) holders.
  • U-Visa holders.

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


Asset Limits  Income  Residency Requirements 

Effective 12/1/19 the cash asset limit for Refugee Cash Assistance is $15,000 and $3,000 for Refugee Medical Assistance. Assets are cash or any property you own.

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.


Other Refugee Assistance & Services

We partner with a number of refugee resettlement agencies that provide additional services to refugees such as resettlement, employment, health care and maintenance, mentoring, foster care, and education.
Refugees who receive Matching Grant benefits are not eligible for refugee cash assistance for the same period. 


Employment Services

Services are available to address barriers to employment such as social adjustment, transportation, interpretation, day care for children, citizenship and naturalization. These agencies also serve refugee cash assistant clients in meeting their required employment participation.

Education - Youth Services

Help is available for activities that lead to the effective integration and education of refugee children.

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. 

  • Kent County Health Department
    • Serves Kent County
  • Ingham County Health Department
    • Serves Ingham and Eaton Counties
  • Arab-American and Chaldean Council (ACC)
    • Serves Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties 


Services to Older Refugees Program

The program seeks to decrease older refugee isolation and dependence and to overcome cultural, language and educational barriers. The goal is to increase the number of older refugees using mainstream services and to connect with other older refugees who share common backgrounds, difficulties and barriers when coming to a new country.  

Health Screening 

We partner 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.

Refugee Health Screening providers:

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors

Providing foster care services to unaccompanied refugee, asylee, trafficked, and special immigrant juvenile youth, the Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program helps unaccompanied minors develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency. Ingham and Kent DHHS partner with the Office of Global Michigan in oversight of the URM programs.

URM Providers: