More than 3.5 million people have fled their homes in Ukraine since Russia’s invasion on February 24th, creating a refugee crisis. The scale and speed of this exodus, according to Vox, hasn’t been seen in Europe since World War II. While President Biden pledged to “welcome Ukrainian refugees ‘with open arms if, in fact, they come all the way here,’” the majority of the war’s refugees are being absorbed by neighboring countries. The biggest share – over 2 million people – have fled to Poland.
For the refugees who are able to make it to the U.S., there are levels of support available. The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), within the Department of Health and Human Services, provides assistance and services to refugees, in addition to other eligible groups such as those seeking asylum and victims of trafficking. ORR also provides time-limited cash and medical assistance to new arrivals, along with case management support as part of its resettlement services. State governments or state-alternative programs administer these medical and cash assistance programs and, therefore, services may vary depending on the state. To learn more about the assistance program in your state, contact your State Refugee Coordinator (here).
In Connecticut, the Office of Community Services of the Department of Social Services (DSS) is responsible for dispensing federal funds to aid with the resettlement of refugees in the state. According to Connecticut’s Official State Website:
“DSS regional offices administer the Refugee Cash Assistance (RCA) and Refugee Medical Assistance (RMA) programs for up to eight months from their date of entry to the U.S. DSS also provides refugees with temporary family assistance/cash assistance, medical coverage and food stamp assistance under those public assistance programs since refugees qualify as legal non-citizens.”
Connecticut contracts with the following agencies to provide these services:
- Catholic Charities Migration, Refugee, and Immigration Services (www.ccaoh.org)
- Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants (https://cirict.org/)
- Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (www.irisct.org)
- Jewish Federation of CT, Inc. (www.jfact.org)
- Connecticut Coalition of Mutual Assistance Associations, Inc. (email@example.com)
March 23, 2022 – C. St. John
 Sas, A. Ukrainian Refugees by Country CEE 2022. Statista. (March 22, 2022). Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1293403/cee-ukrainian-refugees-by-country/
 Zhou, Y., Narea, N., & Animashaun, C. Europe’s embrace of Ukrainian refugees, explained in six charts and one map. Vox. (March 19, 2022). Available at: https://www.vox.com/22983230/europe-ukraine-refugees-charts-map
 Alemany, J., Meyer, T., & Raji, T. Analysis | Biden’s pledge to help Ukrainian refugees could soon be put to the test. The Washington Post. (March 22, 2022). Available at: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2022/03/22/biden-pledge-help-ukrainian-refugees-could-soon-be-put-test/
 CT.gov. (n.d.). Refugee Assistance Program. (n.a.) Available at: https://portal.ct.gov/DSS/Economic-Security/Refugee-Assistance-Program