Refugee and Entrant Assistance Program

Last updated 12/20/2019

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) administers the Refugee and Entrant Assistance Program (CFDA 93.566,) through its Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in accordance with 45 CFR 400. This program enables states to provide services to refugees, certain Amerasians from Viet Nam, Cuba and Haitian entrants, asylees, victims of a severe form of trafficking, Iraqui and Afghan Special Immigrants, and unaccompanied refugee minors. Two types of services are provided under this formula grant program:

  • Refugee Social Services for employment and other social services for five (5) years after date of arrival or granting of asylum.
  • Refugees Cash and Medical Assistance during the first eight (8) months after arrival or granting of asylum.

OCS has been administering this federal grant program for the State of Hawaii since 1985. In order to receive these grant funds, OCS submits a State plan each year (FY2020 State Plan for the Hawaii Refugee Resettlement Program).

Refugee Social Services Program

The main goal of this program is to provide job training and placement services to enable participants to obtain jobs within a year. This program also assists with English language instruction services, basic family support, and social adjustment services. The service population for this program is prioritized as follows (45 CFR 400.147):

  1. newly arrived refugees during their first year in the U.S. who apply for services,
  2. refugees who are receiving cash assistance,
  3. unemployed refugees who are not receiving cash assistance, and
  4. employed refugees in need of services to retain employment or attain economic independence.


In Federal Fiscal Year 2019, ORR provided $75,000 to Hawaii for this program. As indicated in the State Plan, OCS contracts with Child and Family Service to provide services under this program.

Federal Fiscal Year $ Awarded $ Expended Service Outcome Highlights
Grant #1901HIRSOC
$75,000 $65,303 27 refugees enrolled in the program
14 were provided employment services
27 were provided employability assessments
6 were provided on-the-job-training
7 were provided English language instructions
1 was provided vocational training
2 were provided day care for children
20 were provided transportation
24 were provided translation and interpreter services
27 were provided case management services
5 were provided information and referral services
25 were provided outreach services
27 were provided social adjustment services

Refugees Cash Assistance Program

This program enables assistance to provided to refugees who are determined ineligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Medicaid. Three categories of financial assistance are allowed in this program:

  1. Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA),
  2. Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA), and
  3. Unaccompanied refugee minors.


Hawaii only participates in the Refugee Cash Assistance category. Financial assistance can be provided for up to eight (8) months from the date of arrival in the U.S., date of final grant of asylum, and date of certification for trafficking victims. Up to $450 per month may be provided, subject to assessment of the individual’s needs.

In Federal Fiscal Year 2019, ORR has awarded $8,373 to Hawaii for this program, including administrative expenses. Services are provided by the State of Hawaii, Department of Human Services (DHS) under a Memorandum of Agreement that was executed in 1985. DHS has adopted Hawaii Administrative Rules for Refugee Resettlement Program (HAR 17-661).

Federal Fiscal Year $ Awarded $ Expended Service Outcomes
Grant #1901HIRCMA
$8,373 $8,373 1 client served
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