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Title: Government Benefits for Non-Citizens


1
Government Benefitsfor Non-Citizens
  • April 2013
  • Laura Melnick
  • SMRLS
  • 651-894-6932
  • laura.melnick_at_smrls.org

2
Government Benefits for Non-Citizens
  • Welfare reform
  • Definitions qualified and unqualified
  • immigrants, battered immigrants
  • 3. Sponsor-deeming
  • 4. SAVE
  • 5. Reporting to Immigration
  • Public charge considerations
  • 5-year Bar
  • 8. Federal benefits
  • a. SSI
  • b. SNAP (food stamps)

3
  • 9. State and federal/state benefits
  • a. cash and food TANF families
  • (i) FSS (Family Stabilization Services)
  • (ii) DWP (Diversionary Work)
  • (iii) MFIP (MN Family Investment Prog.)
  • (iv) WBP (Work Participation Cash Benes.)
  • b. cash adults GA (General Assistance)
  • c. cash MSA (Minnesota Supplemental
    Assistance)
  • d. emergencies EA (Emergency Assistance), and
    EGA (Emergency GA)
  • e. non-need-based UI (Unemployment
    Insurance)
  • f. food MFAP (MN Food Assistance Prog.)

4
  • g. health care
  • (i) MA (Medical Assistance)
  • (ii) EMA (Emergency MA)
  • (iii) MinnesotaCare
  • 10. other benefits
  • 11. considerations for mixed-status households
  • 12. scenarios

5
1. Welfare reform
  • enacted August 22, 1996
  • replaced AFDC (family cash program)
  • with TANF block grants to states
  • imposed lifetime limits on, and work
  • requirements for, family cash
  • assistance
  • eliminated SSI food stamp eligibility
  • for many non-citizens
  • required certain agencies to file reports with
  • Immigration

6
Post-1996 federal law changes (all good!)
  • ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION REFORM IMMIGRANT
    RESPONSIBILITY ACT OF 1996
  • amended the definition of Qualified Alien to
    include a battered non-citizen.
  • BALANCED BUDGET ACT OF 1997
  • added groups of non-citizens eligible for SSI
    based on disability extended 5-year window of
    benefits for refugees asylees to 7 years.
  • 1998 AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH ACT
  • restored food stamp eligibility to certain groups
    of legal immigrants.

7
  • FARM BILL OF 2002
  • significantly broadened eligibility for food
    stamps for non-citizens beginning 2003.
  • SSI EXTENSION FOR ELDERLY AND DISABLED REFUGEES
    ACT OF 2008
  • allowed certain humanitarian immigrants an
    additional 2-3 years of SSI.

8
2. DefinitionsDefinitions used to determine
eligibility for FEDERAL
benefits.QUALIFIED NON-CITIZENS
  • lawfully admitted for permanent residence under
    the Immigration Nationality Act (INA)
  • refugees, including Haitian, Cuban, and
    Amerasian immigrants
  • granted asylum
  • granted parol
  • conditional entrants (granted before 4/1/80)
  • deportation withheld or removal cancelled
  • granted T-Visa
  • battered immigrants

9
UNQUALIFIED NON-CITIZENS
  • have no documentation
  • have expired documentation
  • have applied for suspension of deportation or
    cancellation of removal
  • have applications pending for adjustment or
    asylum
  • are lawful temporary residents under an amnesty
    program
  • are non-immigrants (with temporary protected
    status or student, visitor, or temporary worker
    visas)
  • have U-visas (for crime victims)
  • have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood
    Arrivals (DACA)

10
BATTERED IMMIGRANTSImmigrants who meet
definition can qualify for range
of federal and state-funded government
benefits but must wait 5 years
for SNAP, SSI or federally-funded MA
  • Applicant must have been battered or subjected to
    extreme cruelty in U.S. by U.S. citizen or LPR
    parent, spouse, or relative who resided in same
    household as victim, AND
  • applicant must no longer live with abuser, AND
  • applicants need for benefits must be
    substantially connected to abuse, AND

11
applicant must either
  • be the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen AND have
    petitioned for adjustment of status under the
    Violence against Women Act (VAWA) OR
  • be the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen OR LPR
    AND have petitioned for cancellation of removal
    under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

12
3. Sponsor-deemingattribution of income from
sponsor to immigrant can make certain
immigrants COMPLETELY INELIGIBLE for almost all
types of public assistance!
  • 1996 welfare reform law required sponsor-deeming.
  • Deeming pursuant to 1996 law change began on
    December 19, 1997 with creation of Affidavit of
    Support forms (form I-864).
  • Deeming applies only to family-based immigrants
    (immigrants arriving through petition from family
    member).

13
Deeming does NOT apply to
  • refugees
  • asylees
  • parolees
  • diversity visa (visa lottery) recipients
  • Cuban/Haitian entrants
  • immigrants with Temporary Protected Status
  • lawfully-residing immigrant children under 18
    (for SNAP and MA only)
  • pregnant women (for MA only)

14
How deeming works
  • Generally, 100 of income assets of sponsor AND
    sponsors spouse are considered fully available
    to immigrant. (For SNAP, deeming is a little
    less harsh).
  • Sponsors family size fixed debts are
    irrelevant.
  • Burden of proving sponsor has little income is on
    immigrant applying for public assistance.
  • Income and assets are deemed until immigrant
    becomes U.S. citizen, works 10 years at Social
    Security-covered work or dies OR sponsor
    permanently leaves U.S. or dies.
  • Divorce from sponsor has no effect on deeming.

15
  • Whether deeming will affect people other than
    sponsored immigrant will vary depending on type
    of assistance program.
  • In TANF (MFIP family cash program), and for
    MinnesotaCare, income is deemed to all members of
    assistance unit.
  • In MA, income and assets are deemed only to
    immigrant, not to household members.

16
Exceptions to deeming2 exceptions allow
immigrants subject to deeming to
get benefits without regard to
sponsors income and assetsA. Indigence
exception
  • Sponsor-deeming will NOT apply if welfare agency
    determines that, as a result of sponsors failure
    to support, immigrant is without food or shelter.
  • Govt. can provide benefits for up to 12 months,
    with 12-month renewals available.
  • Govt. can sue sponsor for benefits provided to
    immigrant. (Immigrant can sue sponsor, too).

17
B. Battered spouse/child exception
  • Sponsor-deeming will NOT apply for 12 months if
    immigrant or child has been battered or subjected
    to extreme cruelty by spouse or parent, or by a
    relative of spouse or parent residing in same
    household. Full range of state-funded benefits
    is available.
  • Immigrant cannot have participated in abuse of
    child.
  • Immigrant must show that battery or cruelty is
    substantially connected to need for benefits.
  • After 12 months, exemption will end unless
    battery was perpetrated by sponsor AND has been
    recognized in a court order (such as an Order for
    Protection) or determination by Immigration.
  • Govt. can sue sponsor for benefits provided to
    immigrant. (Again, immigrant can also sue).

18
Benefits to which deeming applies
  • Deeming applies to
  • cash programs SSI, MSA, GA, MFIP, EA
  • food programs SNAP for adults and for U.S.
    citizen children MFAP
  • health care programs MA, MinnesotaCare
  • Deeming does NOT apply to
  • EMA (Emergency Medical Assistance)
  • MA for pregnant women and children
  • SNAP for immigrant children

19
Special 3-year deeming for MFIP
  • There is a special 3-year deeming provision in
    state law for MFIP only.
  • This deeming applies to immigrants who came to
    U.S. through means other than a relative petition
    (such as a diversity visa).
  • It does not apply to refugees or asylees.
  • Deeming under this program takes into account the
    sponsors family size and support obligations.

20
4. SAVESystematic Alien
Verification for Entitlements
  • Inter-agency governmental information-sharing
    program
  • Used to verify immigration status for public
    assistance and public housing
  • NOT used for reporting immigration status (or
    lack thereof) to Immigration

21
5. Reporting to Immigrationrequirement stems
from 1996 welfare reform lawWHO IS REQUIRED TO
REPORT?Only
  • agencies receiving TANF funds (in Minnesota,
    that means county agencies administering MFIP
    family cash benefits)
  • Social Security Administration
  • public housing agencies contracting with HUD

22
WHAT MUST BE REPORTED?
  • names, addresses, and other identifying
    information
  • ON
  • anyone the worker knows is unlawfully in the
    U.S.

23
Reporting in Minnesotaprotocols require that
agencies
  • report to MDHS rather than to Immigration
  • not verify status if not relevant to benefit
    being sought
  • stop inquiring about status when applicants are
    unwilling/unable to verify
  • interpret knowledge very narrowly
  • comply strictly with data privacy laws

24
6. Public charge considerations
  • Receiving/having dependents receive certain
    public benefits may affect ability to adjust to
    LPR status.
  • Benefits subject to public charge considerations
    are
  • cash benefits MFIP, DWP, SSI, MSA, GA
  • long-term medical care (nursing home care)
  • Benefits not considered include health care, WIC,
    public health services, housing and energy
    assistance, other non-cash special-purpose
    cash benefits not intended for income
    maintenance.
  • Receipt of SNAP or state-funded food support
    should not be a factor for public charge
    determinations.

25
7. 5-year bar
  • A 5-year bar prevents immigrants from receiving
    federal benefits during their first 5 years in
    qualified status.
  • Benefits affected are SSI, SNAP, and
    federally-funded MFIP and MA.
  • During the 5-year period, immigrants may receive
    state-funded benefits if they are eligible for
    them and such benefits are available.

26
BENEFITS!
  • 8. Federal benefits
  • a. Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

27
  • Social Security administers
    2 types of disability benefits
  • SSI, for low-income, low-asset individuals.
    Recipients must be too disabled to work or age 65
    or older.
  • SSDI, for people too disabled to work who meet
    earnings requirements by having paid into system
    via FICA wage deductions.

28
To qualify for SSI, non- citizen applicants
must
  • be defined as qualified non-citizens under
    federal law
  • AND
  • meet certain residency requirements.

29
SSI residency issuesA. immigrants here before
welfare reform
  • non-citizens who were Lawful Permanent Residents
    (LPRs) in the U.S. before August 22, 1996
  • if on SSI on 8/22/96, they can keep getting SSI
    for as long as they remain elderly or disabled.
  • if not on SSI on 8/26/96, they can get SSI now if
    they are
  • qualified non-citizens AND
  • disabled.
  • They cannot get SSI based on age (over 65).

30
Immigrants arriving after
welfare reform
  • For non-citizens who came to the U.S. after
    August 22, 1996, or who adjusted status to LPR
    after that date
  • unqualified non-citizens cannot get SSI.
  • Interestingly, most qualified non-citizens also
    cannot get SSI.
  • There are 3 exceptions.

31
Exceptions to ban on SSI for newer legal
immigrantsImmigrants arriving after August 22,
1996
  • 1) Those granted refugee, asylee, or withholding
    status can get SSI for 7 years after grant of
    status.
  • Certain humanitarian immigrants got additional
  • 2-3 years of SSI extension law ended 9/30/11.
  • 2) U.S. veterans active-duty members of U.S.
    armed forces, their spouses and minor children,
    can get SSI without time limits.
  • Hmong soldiers who fought with the CIA in the
  • Vietnam War are not considered U.S. veterans.
  • 3) Non-citizens who have worked at least 40 work
    quarters (10 years) can get SSI without time
    limits, but they are subject to the 5-year bar on
    benefits.

32
Note about 40 work quarters exception
  • Only work where FICA taxes have been deducted
    from pay counts toward the 40-quarter
    requirement.
  • Quarters can be attributed from spouse to spouse
    and from parent to minor child. Minor children
    can carry parents quarters with them into
    adulthood.
  • Any quarters worked after December 31, 1996 in
    which federal need-based benefits (AFDC, MFIP,
    SNAP, SSI, MA) were received by the household do
    not count as quarters.

33
Sponsor-deeming and Social
Security
  • Because SSI is a need-based program,
    sponsor-deeming may preclude eligibility.
  • Because SSDI is not need-based, sponsor-deeming
    does not apply.

34
b. SNAP
  • Except when sponsor-deeming applies, all
    qualified non-citizens are potentially eligible
    for SNAP.
  • Applicants may have to wait 5 years to get SNAP
    benefits.

35
Non-citizens exempt from the 5-year bar for
SNAP(and therefore eligible immediately) are
  • refugees, asylees, those granted withholding of
    deportation
  • U.S. veterans active-duty members of U.S. armed
    forces ( their spouses and unmarried dependents)
  • elderly immigrants who were lawfully residing
    in U.S. AND age 65 or older as of August 22, 1996
  • legal immigrants certified disabled by State or
    SSA
  • legal immigrants under age 18
  • Hmong Highland Laotian immigrants

36
9. State (and federal/state) benefitsrequirement
for all state funded benefits steps toward
citizenship
  • Most recipients of state-funded assistance
    (including state-funded MFIP and GA) must take
    steps toward obtaining citizenship.
  • Immigrants dont have to take such steps if they
  • have legally resided in U.S. fewer than 4 years
  • are age 70 or older OR
  • are living in a nursing home, group home, or
    similar type of facility.

37
Steps toward citizenship
  • Recipients of state-funded assistance
    required to take steps toward citizenship can
    meet the requirements by
  • taking citizenship, literacy, or ESL classes
  • being on waiting list for such classes
  • having application for citizenship on file
  • being in process of applying for a waiver of
    certain test requirements
  • having failed citizenship test at least twice or
    being unable to understand the rights and
    responsibilities of citizenship.

38
Lawfully residing people
  • Certain people here on a non-permanent basis who
    are not eligible for federal benefits may qualify
    for state-funded benefits (GA, MFAP, state-funded
    MFIP), including
  • Lawful Temporary Residents
  • those with Temporary Protected Status (TPS)
  • applicants for asylum who have employment
    authorization
  • spouses or children of U.S. citizens with
    approved visa petition or pending application for
    adjustment to LPR.

39
Victims of Trafficking T Visas
  • Victims of trafficking who have T visas are
    eligible for both federal and state-funded
    benefits to the extent that refugees are
    eligible.
  • To qualify, T visa holders must get certification
    from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).

40
Crime Victims U Visas
  • Crime victims who are recipients of U Visas are
    not eligible for federally-funded benefits the U
    Visa is a non-immigrant visa.
  • U Visa holders are not specifically eligible for
    state-funded cash or food benefits, either.
  • They have been determined by the state to qualify
    MinnesotaCare.
  • According to state policy, they are potentially
    eligible for state-funded food benefits (MFAP).
  • State policy is silent regarding the holders of U
    Visas eligibility for cash assistance (GA,
    MFIP).
  • U Visa recipients should argue they qualify for
    state-funded cash benefits as lawfully residing
    people.

41
DACA recipients
  • Those granted Deferred Action for Childhood
    Arrivals (DACA) are not considered lawfully
    residing for MA purposes, according to HHS.
  • They should qualify for MinnesotaCare.

42
cash food TANF(i) FSS Family Support
Services(ii) DWP Diversionary Work
Program(iii) MFIP Minnesota Family Investment
Prog.(iv) WBP Work Participation Cash Benefits
  • MFIP, DWP, FSS WBP are TANF (temporary
    assistance for needy families) programs that have
    replaced AFDC.
  • They provide cash assistance to families with
    minor children. Cash grants for MFIP, DWP FSS
    are very low 437 for a household of 2, 532
    for 3, 621 for 4, 697 for 5, etc.
  • Adults without minor children are not eligible
    for FSS, DWP, MFIP or WBP.

43
Non-citizen eligibility for FSS, DWP, MFIP WBP
  • Most legal non-citizens permanently in the U.S.
    are eligible for FSS, DWP, MFIP or WBP if they
    meet the other criteria, whether qualified or
    unqualified under federal law.
  • Certain non-citizens can only get state-funded
    FSS, DWP, MFIP or WBP. (Eligibility depends on
    date of arrival in U.S. and immigration category,
    due to 5-year bar).
  • Since 1/1/08, newly arrived immigrants (here lt 1
    year) are exempt from DWP.
  • Recipients of state-funded benefits must take
    steps toward citizenship.
  • Sponsor-deeming may preclude eligibility.

44
MFIP DWP work plans ESL
  • Most MFIP recipients have to work, unless
    exempted.
  • Counties may allow non-English speakers to
    include ESL in their job search work plans if
    spoken language proficiency level is low enough,
    based on standardized testing.
  • MFIP recipients may fulfill only half of work
    participation requirements through attendance at
    ESL classes, unless theyre taking intensive
    functional work literacy.
  • MFIP DWP recipients may include ESL in their
    work plans for a total of only 24 months (out of
    60).

45
b. cash General Assistance (GA)
  • GA is a state-funded program for low-income,
    low-asset individuals not living with minor
    children.
  • GA is also for minor children whose adult
    caregivers dont qualify for MFIP due to
    relationship status.
  • GA pays only 203 per month for an individual and
    260 for a married couple.

46
  • Legal immigrants residing in the U.S. permanently
    (or with a pending application for adjustment)
    may get GA if they meet other eligibility
    criteria.
  • If under 70 and here at least 4 years, they must
    take steps toward citizenship.
  • Sponsor-deeming may preclude eligibility.

47
c. Cash Minnesota Supplemental Assistance (MSA)
  • MSA is a state supplement for recipients of SSI
    or people who would receive SSI but for excess
    income.
  • MSA serves to ameliorate the effects of high
    housing costs.
  • SSI recipients living in shared households are
    usually ineligible for MSA.
  • The average MSA supplement is 81.
  • Non-citizen recipients must take steps toward
    citizenship, and sponsor-deeming may preclude
    eligibility.

48
d. cash EA and EGA
  • Emergency Assistance (EA) and Emergency GA (EGA)
    are designed to prevent destitution, providing
    cash grants to resolve crises.
  • Both EA and EGA are now funded through block
    grants from the State, so individual counties
    have a great deal of discretion in administering
    benefits.
  • Legal, permanent residents are eligible for EA
    and EGA to the same extent (and subject to the
    same limitations) as U.S. citizens.
  • Sponsor-deeming may preclude eligibility, but
    applicants may qualify for the indigence
    exception.

49
e. non-need-based cash Unemployment
  • Unemployment Insurance - UI
  • UI benefits can be paid if the worker was
  • lawfully admitted for permanent residence at the
    time of the employment
  • lawfully present for purposes of the employment
    OR
  • permanently residing in the U.S. under color of
    law at the time of the employment.
  • Work done before gaining legal status does not
    count toward earnings requirements.
  • UI benefits are not need-based and therefore are
    not subject to sponsor-deeming.

50
f. Food
  • MFAP Minnesota Food Assistance Program
  • Legal, permanent non-citizens not on MFIP who
    have been here fewer than 5 years ( therefore
    may be subject to the bar on SNAP) may qualify
    for food benefits through MFAP.
  • MFAP benefits are available only to those age 50
    and older.
  • The MFAP program follows federal SNAP
    regulations.
  • MFAP recipients may be subject to sponsor-deeming.

51
g. health care
  • Medical Assistance (MA)
  • In general, MA is available to immigrants who
  • are low-income and low-asset
  • are considered qualified under federal law AND
  • meet the categorical requirements, meaning they
    are
  • pregnant
  • living with minor children or in an MFIP
    household
  • under 21
  • 65 or older
  • certified disabled by State or SSA OR
  • over 21, without kids, and living at or below 75
    FPG.
  • Sponsor-deeming may preclude eligibility.

52
In 2011, the Minnesota legislature
eliminated state-funded MA statutorily, effective
1/1/12, for non-citizens lawfully residing in the
U.S. who were not eligible for federally-funded
assistance. Implementation of the change was
delayed until 3/1/12.
53
No longer eligible for state-funded MA, since
3/1/12, are
  • people considered otherwise lawfully residing
    who do not meet the definition of qualified
    under federal law and
  • lawful permanent residents subject to the 5-year
    bar on receipt of federal benefits. This group
    is no longer eligible during the 5-year waiting
    period. (All in this group should qualify for
    MinnesotaCare).
  • NOTE Pregnant women and children in these
    categories remain eligible for MA.

54
MA exception for torture survivors
  • Those otherwise ineligible for MA can get
    coverage if they are receiving care and
    rehabilitation services from a non-profit center
    established to serve victims of torture.
  • Those receiving such services do NOT have to meet
    MA guidelines in terms of
  • categorical eligibility
  • income and asset restrictions OR
  • immigration requirements.

55
(ii) Emergency Medical Assistance (EMA)
  • EMA is a basic safety net health care program.
  • EMA can provide health care services to
    medically needy people who are undocumented,
    who have lapsed documentation, or who otherwise
    would be ineligible due to sponsor-deeming.
  • EMA does NOT cover organ transplants or related
    procedures.

56
  • EMA is available only to those categorically
    eligible for MA (i.e., living in a household
    with minor children, pregnant, elderly, certified
    disabled, under 21, or 21 or older and living at
    or below 75 FPG).

57
EMA is for Emergency Medical Services
  • required for medical conditions manifested by
    acute symptoms of such severity that the absence
    of immediate medical attention reasonably could
    be expected to result in
  • Placement of the patients health in serious
    jeopardy
  • Serious impairment to bodily functions OR
  • Serious dysfunction of any bodily organ or part.

58
EMA is no longer available for chronic
conditions, effective 1/8/12
  • The 2011 Minnesota legislature eliminated EMA
    eligibility for those with chronic conditions.
  • Exceptions were made by DHS for those who would
    have respiratory or cardiac failure within 48
    hours but for treatment.
  • The 2012 legislature added provisions allowing
    EMA for kidney dialysis and treatment (including
    chemotherapy and radiation) for cancer.
  • The new law limits EMA to care delivered in
    hospital emergency rooms or ambulances on an
    in-patient basis following ER care and as
    follow-up care directly related to the ER
    treatment.

59
Medical coverage for pregnant women
  • Pregnant women qualify without
    regard to immigration status or sponsor income
    for
  • labor delivery AND
  • pre- post-natal care for 60 days after birth

60
(iii) MinnesotaCare
  • MinnesotaCare is a need-based program with higher
    income allowances than MA.
  • MinnesotaCare is available to those ineligible
    for MA due to categorical or income restrictions.
  • MinnesotaCare is available to those who meet
    income guidelines AND
  • are qualified non-citizens OR
  • Effective 3/1/12, meet the definition of
    lawfully present under federal regulations.
  • Sponsor-deeming may preclude eligibility.

61
10. Other benefits
  • Some benefits are available without
    regard to immigration status, including
  • WIC (Women, Infants Children) benefits
  • school breakfast lunch benefits
  • benefits through Head Start
  • K-12 free public education
  • public health immunizations testing
  • soup kitchens, short-term shelter, etc.
  • child care assistance for U.S. citizen children

62
11. Considerations for mixed-status households
  • To avoid getting reported to Immigration, those
    without proper documentation should be advised
    to
  • Tell agency they are not eligible for benefits
    for themselves due to immigration status.
  • Tell agency they are applying only for eligible
    household member.
  • Not provide details about their status to agency.
  • Not provide Social Security number (unless
    necessary for income verification).
  • Verify earned income, from whatever source.
  • Verify pregnancy if seeking health coverage.

63
SCENARIOS
64
A. Battered immigrants Natasha
  • Natasha is 36 and came to the US without papers.
    She left her U.S. citizen husband after he
    assaulted her with a baseball bat, causing
    traumatic brain injury.
  • A friend is letting Natasha stay in her condo and
    has stocked it with food.
  • Natasha filed a VAWA petition and received a
    notice shed made a prima facie case for VAWA
    relief.
  • Natashas main concern is medical coverage. Her
    cognitive functioning is significantly impaired
    due to her injury, and she needs some home health
    care in order to remain in the community.
  • MA covers home health services MinnesotaCare
    does not.

65
A. Natasha quiz
  • Natasha
  • is not currently eligible for any health care
    because she is undocumented.
  • is eligible only for MinnesotaCare and,
    therefore, cannot get home care.
  • is eligible for MA benefits because she is now a
    qualified non-citizen under federal law.
  • will not be eligible for any benefits until she
    has received final approval of her VAWA petition
    at that point, she will qualify for MA.

66
B. Sponsor-Deeming Ralph Mai Lia
  • Mai Lia moved to US with minor daughter, Bee (now
    8), 6 years ago, via relative petition signed by
    Mai Lias mom. Mom lives in California with
    stepdad, who earns 200,000 a year.
  • 11 months ago, Mai Lia married U.S. citizen
    Ralph, a widower MFIP recipient with 6 kids.
    Mai Lias mom stepdad stopped talking to her
    after the marriage. Ralph added his new wife to
    MFIP grant, then added couples new baby, Jethro,
    2 months ago (he only gets the food portion).
  • County just notified Ralph it made a mistake by
    not counting Mai Lias deemed income. County has
    determined that whole household is ineligible for
    MFIP. County has terminated households benefits
    and has assessed it a huge overpayment.
  • County says
  • Ralph and all 8 kids remain eligible for MA.
  • Bee can get SNAP.
  • No one else is eligible for anything.

67
B. Ralph Mai Lia quiz.The County
  1. Is wrong re overpayment County cant make Ralph
    repay, since County was responsible for mistake.
  2. Is wrong to close cash and food benefits for
    Ralph older kids, since all are U.S. citizens
    sponsor income cant affect them, especially when
    sponsor is a stranger.
  3. Is wrong not to give Jethro cash wrong to end
    his food benefits, since he was born in U.S.
    after effective date of sponsorship (Mai Lias
    mom cant be financially responsible for
    after-born children).
  4. Is wrong to find Bee eligible for SNAP. How
    could only child not a citizen be only one
    eligible for food assistance?
  5. Is right, darn it!

68
C. Reporting and Public Charge Tamara Mustafa
  • Tamara is U.S. citizen who is married to Mustafa.
    Mustafas student visa has expired he hopes to
    adjust to LPR status sometime.
  • Tamara is unemployed. Mustafa works part-time
    using SSN he obtained on black market. Neither
    is eligible for UI. Mustafa isnt earning enough
    to make ends meet.
  • The couple has 2 minor children born in U.S. The
    household needs food, medical and cash. Tamara
    is worried that applying for benefits will
  • cause County to report Mustafas lapsed status to
    Immigration
  • get Mustafa in legal trouble because hes using
    false SSN and
  • harm Mustafas chances of adjusting to LPR status.

69
C. Tamara Mustafa quiz
  • Tamara should
  • apply only for medical and food benefits,
    reporting Mustafas wages to County as part of
    application process.
  • Apply only for medical and food benefits, but not
    report Mustafas wages to County as part of
    application process.
  • Not apply for any benefits. If she applies,
    County will have to report Mustafa to
    Immigration, and he could face removal
    (deportation).
  • Apply for all benefits. She has nothing to fear
    shes merely being a worry-wart.

70
D. SSI Tang
  • Tang is 52, from Laos. She came to U.S. as
    refugee a little over 7 years ago.
  • Tang doesnt speak English. She suffered trauma
    in her youth and cant work. She likes to keep
    to herself. She started getting SSI a couple of
    years ago due to her PTSD. She also got a state
    MSA grant.
  • Because she had over 700 in monthly income, Tang
    could afford for her own apartment.
  • Recently, Tangs SSI and MSA terminated because
    she is not a U.S. citizen. Tang applied for GA
    but doesnt know how shell pay her rent. County
    says she cant get GA until she signs up for ESL,
    literacy, or citizenship classes.
  • Tang wants her SSI benefits back.

71
D. Tang quiz
  • Tang should
  • ask Social Security to reinstate her SSI
    benefits as a Hmong refugee, she is not subject
    to the 7-year limitation.
  • file a new application for SSI since she hasnt
    used her 7 years of benefits yet.
  • apply for subsidized housing, sign up for
    citizenship classes, file a citizenship
    application, and ask her doctor to complete a
    medical waiver form for it.
  • appeal the Countys termination of her MSA
    benefits.
  • move to Nebraska, as shell automatically get SSI
    there.
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