Reception and Placement Services

(funded through the United States Department of State)

During the first 30 days after a refugee's arrival in Massachusetts, voluntary agencies (volags) who resettle refugees provide basic needs support including:

  • assistance with housing
  • furnishings
  • food and other basic necessities
  • clothing, and
  • transportation to job interviews and job training

During the first 90 days after arrival, community orientation services are also provided including:

  • assistance in applying for social security cards
  • registering children for school
  • using public transportation, facilities, and services

Match Grant Program (funded through the Office of Refugee Resettlement) - The Match Grant Program is a public/private partnership between a voluntary agency ( volag) and the Office of Refugee Resettlement under which refugee resettlement costs are shared by the government and a local community. Volags who resettle refugees under the Match Grant Program provide cash assistance and in-kind support for refugees for an additional 90 days beyond the normal 30-day period for Reception and Placement assistance.

Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) (funded through the Office of Refugee Resettlement) - Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) is a program of financial support for eligible Massachusetts Refugee Resettlement Program participants while they are looking for, or preparing for work. Financially eligible refugees may start to receive cash assistance within the first month after arrival in the U.S., and may continue to do so until the end of the eighth month in the U.S. (provided they remain financially eligible).

The current standard of assistance is $428/month for an assistance unit of 1, with an increment of $105 for each additional assistance unit member. In addition, refugees who enter employment within four months after becoming employable (i.e. obtaining their Social Security Card and/or Employment Authorization Document) may qualify for Early Employment Incentive payments.

Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) (funded through the Office of Refugee Resettlement) - Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) is provided through an Interagency Service Agreement between MORI and the Massachusetts Medicaid program, and offers temporary medical coverage for refugees who are not eligible for MassHealth benefits, and have been in the U.S. eight months or less.

Refugee Health Assessment Program - As part of initial resettlement, refugees must be screened for communicable diseases and other health problems within 90 days of their entry into the U.S. Refugee Health Assessment services, provided through an Interagency Service Agreement between MORI and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), offer linguistically and culturally appropriate health assessment services which include:

  • medical assessment and testing
  • follow-up checkup
  • immunization
  • referral to primary care

For definitions of terms used by the Office for Refugees and Immigrants, please view the Glossary.


This information is provided by the Office for Refugees and Immigrants.