Fiscal Year 2018 Services to Older Refugees Social Services Set-Aside

Dear Colleague Letter 18-02

Publication Date: October 5, 2017

October 5, 2017

Dear Colleague:

ORR will issue Services to Older Refugees (SOR) funding to states as a “set-aside” within the fiscal year (FY) 20181 Refugee Social Services (RSS) formula allocation.  This letter specifies the FY 2018 allocation amounts, program priorities and services, as well as program reporting and monitoring activities.  Additionally, this letter provides information about administering the SOR program.

FY 2018 Allocations
The FY 2018 allocations to states, Wilson/Fish programs, and replacement designees, are based on the number of ORR-eligible individuals aged 60 or older who arrived within the previous fiscal year (FY 20162), as reported in the ORR Refugee Arrivals Data System (RADS).  All states and state-alternative agencies that received over 10 ORR-eligible individuals aged 60 or older in FY 2016 qualify for funding. The chart below documents the number of eligible arrivals to each state in that time period and the corresponding funding allocations for the SOR program for FY 2018.  The proposed allocations will be based on availability of federal funding and will be included in the quarterly FY 2018 RSS allocation as a “set-aside.” 

Program priorities and services
SOR services to ORR-served populations must be provided in accordance with 45 CFR 400.154 and 45 CFR 400.155. States may provide services to eligible  clients who have been in the country up to 60 months (5 years), with the exception of referral services, interpreter services, and citizenship and naturalization preparation services, for which there is no time limitation (45 CFR 400.152(b)).

States and state-alternative agencies receiving SOR funding must focus on the following areas:   

  • Mainstream Outreach: Establishing or expanding working relationships with state or local agencies on aging, to ensure that older ORR-served populations are linked to mainstream aging services in the community.
  • Service Enhancement: Providing older ORR-served populations with appropriate services that are not available in the community.  
  • Independent Living: Creating opportunities that enable older ORR-served populations to live independently as long as possible.
  • Naturalization: Developing or maintaining services that link older ORR-served populations to naturalization services, especially for those who have lost or are at risk of losing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and other federal benefits.

Allowable activities within these focus areas may include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing access to aging services, including, but not limited to, senior community centers, supportive services, and intergenerational activities;
  • Nutrition services and meals delivered to homebound clients;
  • Transportation;
  • Interpretation and translation;
  • Home care, adult day care, and respite care;
  • Elder abuse prevention;
  • Nursing home ombudsman services;
  • Citizenship and naturalization outreach, civics instruction, counseling, and application assistance. Application fees for citizenship examinations are not allowable using these set-aside funds.

Reporting and Monitoring
States, Wilson/Fish programs, and replacement designees must report all SOR activities, accomplishments, and challenges in the ORR-6 Schedule A Program Narrative.  The ORR-6 forms, instructions, and reporting schedule are available on the ORR Web site.  The narrative must include information related to the number of clients served, the type and frequency of services provided, challenges and accomplishments in administering the program, and program initiatives.

ORR will monitor the SOR program to ensure that SOR activities are targeted to best meet the needs of older ORR-eligible populations.  ORR will assess how services are provided and identify promising practices and trends for further analysis. 

Please direct any questions about this Dear Colleague Letter or the SOR program to Colleen Mahar-Piersma, Program Analyst, Division of Refugee Assistance, at  We encourage you to utilize ORR’s Technical Assistance providers for additional resources on citizenship and immigration and other services related to older refugees.

E. Scott Lloyd, Director
Office of Refugee Resettlement


1. October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018.
2. October 1, 2015 through September 30, 2016.

FY 2018 Services to Older Refugees Social Services Set-Aside Formula Allocations

State, Wilson-Fish Program, Replacement Designee FY 2016 Arrivals (10> arrivals)
Aged 60 and older
FY 2018 Funding
Alabama 12 $50,000
Arizona 160 $129,466
California 969 $150,000
Colorado 70 $75,000
Connecticut 14 $50,000
Florida 3,949 $194,000
Georgia 103 $83,344
Idaho 43 $75,000
Illinois 127 $102,764
Indiana 32 $75,000
Iowa 34 $75,000
Kansas 24 $75,000
Kentucky 75 $75,000
Maine 12 $50,000
Maryland 58 $75,000
Massachusetts 80 $75,000
Michigan 156 $126,230
Minnesota 113 $91,436
Missouri 45 $75,000
Nebraska 48 $75,000
Nevada 101 $81,726
New Hampshire 15 $50,000
New Jersey 29 $75,000
New York 176 $142,414
North Carolina 99 $80,107
North Dakota 35 $75,000
Ohio 147 $118,947
Oklahoma 21 $75,000
Oregon 59 $75,000
Pennsylvania 117 $94,672
South Carolina 13 $50,000
South Dakota 13 $50,000
Tennessee 71 $75,000
Texas 458 $150,000
Utah 40 $75,000
Vermont 20 $75,000
Virginia 71 $75,000
Washington  163 $131,894
Wisconsin 27 $75,000
Totals 7,799 $3,402,000


Current as of: