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Refugee Services

Refugees and others with an eligible immigration status can get help with cash, medical, employment and other services when they first come to Oregon. Oregon gets funding to provide these services from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and State Legislature. Local resettlement agencies help refugees get connected to services.

List of resettlement agencies

Learn about programs and services below. 

Refugee cash and medical benefits

Refugee cash and medical benefits are for people who:

  • Have an ​eligible immigration status
  • Are a single adult or legally married couple with no children*
  • Have been in the U.S. as a refugee for less​ than 1 year, or who received their qualifying status within the past year​​
  • Live in Oregon
  • Meet income standards
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Are not a full-time student in college

*Families with children 18 or younger ​may be able to get ​cash benefits through the TANF program. Visit the TANF page​ to learn more.​

Refugees can get support through Refugee Cash (REF) and Refugee Medical (REFM) programs for the first year after being granted refugee status. 

Refugee ​​Cash Program

  • ​People who qualify for refugee cash benefits get an Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card to use.
  • The EBT card is used like a debit card to buy items or withdraw cash.
  • Money is deposited onto the EBT card every month. The amount depends on the person's income and if they are single or a couple.

Families with children should apply for cash benefits through the TANF program.

Refugee Med​​ical Program

  • Most refugees are eligible for Oregon Health Plan (OHP) medical benefits when their refugee status is granted.
  • If they start working and their income goes over the limit for OHP, they may be able to keep getting the same medical benefits through the Refugee Medical program.

​You can apply online, by phone or in person at a local o​​ffice​. 

​Apply now

If you need help to apply, contact a local Refugee Resettlement Agency​.

More resources

ODHS pro​​g​​rams

Refugees can apply for other programs through the Oregon Department of Human Services, including: 

You can apply for any of these services at a local ODHS office​. If you’re connected to a Resettlement Agency​, ODHS will work with them to help you apply.​


  • The Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) can help with English language, vocational training, employment and job placement.​ Help is available for up to 5 years after arrival in the U.S.
  • In the greater Portland Metro area, IRCO offers pre-employment training ​and job search and placement help. This could include help with learning English, job searches, completing job applications, interview skills, transportation, and ​appropriate on-the-job behavior in the American workplace.​

Salem for Refugees

Refugee Resettlement Agencies

Refugees can also access other programs in their community.

Local Refugee ​Resettlement Agencies can help refugees with Extended Case Management services (ECM) for up to 24 months during their first 5 years in the U.S. The 24 months don't have to be consecutive. For example, a refugee could get services for 18 months when they first arrive, and later on get services for 6 more months, for a total of 24 months.​

Additional services:

  • Oregon Refugee Children Assistance Services help school age children and their parents in school enrollment, understanding the school system, school outreach, orientations and enhanced academic support. This can help refugee children succeed in school.
  • Senior Services help prevent isolation by providing seniors with a variety of social activities, case management, including culturally specific meals, and help with the citizenship applications process.
  • Youth Mentoring helps youth ages 15 to 24 in acculturating to their new country, helping with the college application process, ​tutoring, mentoring and more.

Services may change from time to time.

For questions about refugee policy: You can email or call the ODHS Central Office at 503-945-5600.