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THE MATCHING GRANT PROGRAM

ISSUE DATE: 12/2016

The Matching Grant (MG) program is a federal program funded through the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and administered by local resettlement agencies.

The MG program is focused on early self-sufficiency

The MG program is an alternative to cash assistance, supporting participants to attain self-sufficiency within 180 days (6 months) of arrival in the United States.

MG participants ARE NOT eligible to apply for cash assistance programs, and cannot receive MFIP, RCA , SSI or any other cash assistance while enrolled in MG.

MG participants ARE eligible to apply for other types of assistance, such as SNAP and Medical Assistance benefits.

Local resettlement agencies will assist participants to fill out the Combined Application Form (CAF) applying for FOOD only.

If MG participants apply for and receive other cash assistance, they become ineligible for MG, and lose all the additional support MG provides.

Only persons with the following non-citizen status are eligible for the MG program:

Refugees.

Iraqi and Afghani Special Immigrants (SIV’s).

Asylees.

Cuban and Haitian Entrants.

Amerasians.

Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking.


Local resettlement agencies, under contract with their national Resettlement Agency Headquarters and ORR, administer and implement the MG program. Local resettlement agencies are not required to offer this program. Local resettlement agencies currently offering the MG program in Minnesota are:

International Institute of Minnesota.

Minnesota Council of Churches.

Catholic Charities Winona Diocese.


The MG program design and implementation may vary by agency, but the following supports are provided to all MG participants for up to 6 months, or until the household becomes self-sufficient, whichever is earlier:

Intensive employment supports.

Case management supports.

Financial supports, including:
- Monthly cash allowance.
- Housing and utility assistance.
- Transportation assistance for work-related activity.
- Assistance with employment-related expenses, such as work clothing or shoes.


Local resettlement agencies determine eligibility for the MG program and enroll participants within 30 days after arrival to the US. To be eligible, a household must have one or more employable person who is willing to aggressively pursue employment. Participants in the MG program receive an orientation which includes not participating in other cash assistance programs while in MG.

MG participants will obtain an Agency Letter of MG Enrollment/ Support indicating:

Confirmation of enrollment in MG program.

Contact information for MG case manager.

Outline of MG supports client will receive.

Listing of household members ineligible for public cash assistance programs because of enrollment in MG.


Participants who are not self-sufficient at the end of the MG program are eligible to apply for other cash assistance programs through the county.

If you are unsure about an individual’s MG participation, contact their local resettlement agency.

If you have a question about the MG program or an individual who is enrolled in MG, and are not able to contact the case manager listed on the Agency Letter of MG Enrollment/Support that accompanied a client’s CAF, contact the agency and ask to speak with a supervisor or employment services coordinator:

International Institute of Minnesota – St Paul, MN
General Line: 651-647-0191

Minnesota Council of Churches – Minneapolis, MN
Refugee Services General Line: 612-874-8605

Catholic Charities Winona Diocese – Rochester, MN
General Line: 507-287-2047


Additional information about the Matching Grant Program is available at Federal Office of Refugee Resettlement.

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