Refugee DHS Benefits

Refugees are immediately eligible for benefits. These are crucial to their survival in a new country and are essential supports until they can become gainfully employed, which they are expected to be within a year. Agencies to help refugees apply for and get the benefits below as well as additional resources can be found here.   

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Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP)

SNAP helps low-income individuals and families purchase food. Recipients can use SNAP benefits, which are given monthly, to buy food at local grocery stores, markets, and farmers markets that accept Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards. A household’s income (earned and unearned), certain allowable deductions, and other criteria are used to determine eligibility.

Refugee Cash Assistance

A federally-funded program that helps refugee adults without children by providing cash assistance during their first eight months in the U.S. adults without children

Rhode Island Works (RIW)

RIW provides cash assistance to eligible families in need of support and also provides individualized and family supportive services, job readiness, preparation and placement, employment or vocational training and retention services.


The Medicaid Program provides comprehensive medical coverage low-income families with children, pregnant women, older adults and persons with disabilities and special needs who otherwise might not be able to pay for or get access to affordable health care.

Child Care Assistance (CCAP)

CCAP is available to certain Rhode Island families to cover child care costs for the hours parent/guardians are working or training. Families may be required to pay a co-payment based in their household size and income level.

How do I apply? 

All the details for applying for these benefits can be found here. There are also agencies that can help refugees with applying and they can be found here.