Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance

What is the Refugee Cash Assistance program?

The Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program provides temporary cash assistance to refugees during their first eight months in the United States. Refugees generally enter the U.S. without any income to support themselves. RCA helps refugees while they:

  • Look for work;
  • Learn English; and
  • Become a part of their local communities.


What is the Refugee Medical Assistance program?

The Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) program provides refugees with health insurance and medical assistance during their first eight months in the United States. 


Who can apply for RCA and RMA?

  • Refugees;
  • Asylees;
  • Cuban-Haitian entrants;
  • Certain Amerasians;
  • Victims of Trafficking; and
  • Any other groups eligible for refugee benefits under federal law.


How does a refugee apply for RCA and RMA?

A local resettlement agency meets with refugees when they arrive in Wisconsin. The local agency helps refugees apply for all programs for which they are eligible. For more information about the resettlement process, please visit the Path to Resettlement page.


What other programs are available for refugees?

If a refugee family has children under the age of 18, they may be eligible for Wisconsin Works (W-2).

Low income refugees qualify for BadgerCare Plus.

If a refugee is aged, blind, or disabled, they may be eligible for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI)program.


Funding Opportunity

Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance Program – Health Screening Administration Grant provides supplemental one year funding for a full time Refugee Health Screening Coordinator position in order to provide coordination of refugee health screening services to all eligible refugees who are within the first 90 days after arrival in the U.S. To find more information and apply, click here.