Refugee Cash and Medical Assistance

We've gathered the following information to help assist in understanding Refugee Cash Assistance, Refugee Medical Assistance programs and who can apply for them.

What is the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) program?

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The RCA program provides temporary cash assistance to refugees during their first twelve 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 (RMA) program?

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The 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;
  • Special Immigration Visa holders (SIVs)
  • 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?

As refugees arrive to Wisconsin from overseas, a local resettlement agency helps them apply for all programs for which they are eligible. For all refugees, RCA and RMA can be applied for at a local W-2 office.

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.