Refugee cash assistance (RCA)

Refugee cash assistance (RCA) is available for immigrants' first eight months in the United States. When that period ends, they may apply for other assistance programs.


Refugees are defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). These include people who have been
  • Admitted as refugees under Section 207, or
  • Paroled as refugee or asylee under Section 212(d)(5), or
  • Granted asylum under Section 208, or
  • Cuban and Haitian entrants, or
  • Admitted as Amerasian under Amerasian Homecoming Act, or
  • Victims of trafficking certified by the Office of Refugee Resettlement
Applicants also must be:
  • Single adults 18 years or older, or
  • Married couples without children, or
  • Pregnant women and their spouses, until they meet eligibility requirements for the Minnesota Family Investment Program, or
  • Adults who are disabled or older than 65, until they are eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI)


Participants who are disabled or 65 years or older are required to apply for Supplemental Security Income.

Health care assistance for refugees

Refugees receiving benefits are automatically eligible for refugee medical assistance if they are not already eligible for Medical Assistance (MA).

If you need help applying

You may have someone else apply for you. To do this, you must write a letter identifying that person as an "authorized representative" who has permission to complete the process on your behalf. If you are in the hospital or home-bound, call our office for assistance.

How to apply

Complete one of the applications below to apply. If you complete the combined application form you will need to submit it to one of our locations or email it to  You may also call 507.431.5600 to have a form mailed to you.