TN 13 (11-06)
SI 00502.106 Time-Limited Eligibility for Certain Aliens
Cross-Refer SI 00502.106 to SI 00502.301
A. Policy - the 7-year rule
Effective 8/22/96, a qualified alien with current or prior status in one of the categories listed in SI 00502.106B may be eligible for a maximum of 7 years; provided both of the following requirements are met:
The alien filed for SSI within 7 years of the date a status in SI 00502.106B was acquired; and
The alien does not meet one of the conditions that permit eligibility without a time limit, such as the veteran’s exception. (See SI 00502.100A.3.a. through SI 00502.100A.3.d.)
The 7-year period begins with the date the relevant alien status in SI 00502.106B was acquired.
This 7-year limitation on eligibility does not apply to a qualified alien in one of the categories listed in SI 00502.106B if he or she also meets a condition that permits SSI eligibility without a time limit (SI 00502.100A.3.a. through SI 00502.100A.3.d.).
IMPORTANT: When an alien claimant files for SSI benefits, determine whether he or she is potentially eligible under an exception condition that is not time-limited and develop accordingly. If the alien cannot qualify under one of the exception conditions in SI 00502.106E, he or she can be potentially eligible for a one-time 7-year eligibility period.
2. Examples of the 7-year limited eligibility provision
See SI 00502.108G.3. for an example of a qualified alien based on Cuban/Haitian entrant status who is eligible for a maximum of 7 years.
See SI 00502.108G.5. for an example of a qualified alien based on Cuban/Haitian entrant status who is not eligible under the 7-year rule because the date of filing for SSI was after the 7-year period.
See SI 00502.108G.6. for an example of a qualified alien who had prior status as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” (asylum applicant) and as an asylee before adjusting to LAPR status. The 7-year period is based on the “Cuban/Haitian entrant” status, the earlier of “Cuban/Haitian entrant” or asylee; and does not end just because the alien adjusted to LAPR status.
NOTE: Although these examples pertain to “Cuban/Haitian entrants,” they illustrate the 7-year limited eligibility provisions that are applicable for all of the alien categories listed in SI 00502.106B.
3. Situations that affect continuing eligibility for 7-year aliens
There are certain situations that have an effect on continuing SSI eligibility for 7-year aliens. These situations include:
Loss of SSI eligibility when the 7-year period expires (see SI 00502.106C).
Adjustment to LAPR or other qualified alien status during the 7-year period (see SI 00502.106D).
Changes in a qualified alien’s eligibility condition that permits eligibility beyond the 7-year period (see SI 00502.106E).
Loss of qualified alien status during the 7-year period. (See SI 00502.100A.6.a., first bullet.)
4. 7-year alien reminder notice
The notice, SSA-L8165 (Important Information), explains the provisions of the law to aliens who are eligible for SSI for only a limited time—or until and unless they attain citizenship or meet other requirements. This notice explains the date when eligibility ends for each eligible recipient. The notice provides telephone and website contacts for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as well as similar information for SSA.
B. Policy - categories of 7-year aliens
The categories of 7-year aliens are:
Refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
Asylee under section 208 of the INA.
Alien whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of the INA or whose removal has been withheld under section 241(b)(3) of the INA.
Cuban/Haitian entrant under one of the categories in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education and Assistance Act of 1980 or alien in a status that is to be treated as a “Cuban/Haitian entrant” for SSI purposes. (See SI 00502.108B.)
“Amerasian immigrant” under section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988. “Amerasian immigrants” are, by definition, lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LAPR); thus, they are qualified aliens. If an individual is an “Amerasian immigrant,” and meets no other condition permitting eligibility, then he or she is potentially eligible for 7 years beginning with the date “Amerasian immigrant” status was granted.
NOTE: Amerasians who enter as non-immigrants (e.g., foreign students pursuing studies in the U.S.) cannot be qualified aliens.
An alien admitted to the U.S. under the Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant provisions per SI 00502.109.
An alien admitted under the Victims of Severe Forms of Trafficking provisions per SI 00502.111.
IMPORTANT: An alien who is admitted in one of the above categories and completes his 7-year period of eligibility cannot be eligible under a subsequent time-limited immigration status. For example, an alien who completed a 7-year period of eligibility, loses lawful immigration status, and is later granted a new status (e.g., granted asylum status by an immigration judge) is no longer eligible for SSI as the alien already completed a 7-year period of eligibility.
C. Policy - loss of eligibility after 7 years in a time-limited status
1. When eligibility is lost
In general, a qualified alien in one of the time-limited alien categories, loses eligibility effective with the first month beginning after the 7th anniversary of:
Admission as a refugee; or
Withholding of deportation or removal; or
Being granted asylum; or
Becoming a Cuban/Haitian entrant (SI 00502.108); or
Being granted Amerasian immigrant status.
2. Examples showing how to determine when eligibility ends based on the expiration of the 7-year period
If Beginning Date of Status in a 7-Year Category is...
Alien Loses Eligibility Effective…
See SI 00502.106E for when eligibility may continue beyond the 7-year period.
3. Aged 7-year alien recipient alleges blindness/disability: entered U.S. before 8/22/96
a. Potential eligibility as blind/disabled alien-lawfully residing on 8/22/96
An aged alien who entered the U.S. before 8/22/96 may allege disability or blindness in connection with an appeal of the loss of SSI under the 7-year time-limited provision. This is because a qualified alien of any age who is determined to be blind or disabled and who was lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96 can get SSI without a time limit (SI 00502.142). However, an aged alien who entered the U.S. on or after 8/22/96 cannot benefit from an allegation of disability/blindness since he or she was not lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96.
SSA must develop three issues in order to determine whether the alien may remain eligible under this provision:
NOTE: The onset of blindness or disability can be at any point. The 8/22/96 date is not material to the disability/blindness determination.
b. Requirements for continued benefits under Goldberg-Kelly
NOTE: As explained in SI 02301.300B.2., the issue of disability is not normally a factor of eligibility that would permit the payment of continued benefits during appeal under Goldberg-Kelly. However, if an aged alien recipient alleges disability in connection with an appeal of the loss of SSI eligibility under the 7-year rule, SSA may pay continued benefits under Goldberg-Kelly if the requirements in this subsection are met.
An aged alien recipient who alleges disability/blindness in connection with an appeal of the loss of benefits under the 7-year rule can get continued benefits under Goldberg -Kelly if the aged alien:
Alleges he or she was lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96; and
Appealed the suspension of benefits under the 7-year rule within 10 calendar days of receiving the Notice of Planned Action (NPA) or good cause exists for filing an appeal after this time limit. See SI 02301.310C.4., GN 03101.020A, and SI 04020.020B for good cause. Refer to SI 02301.310C.3. for how to determine the 10-day period.
The NPA informs the recipient of the effective date and reason for the loss of benefits under the 7-year time limited rule, appeal rights, and the right to continued benefits during the appeal. The pending disability/blindness determination for the aged alien will be adjudicated at the initial level. However, the determination of alien SSI eligibility on appeal, which will be based in part on the initial disability/blindness determination, is adjudicated at the reconsideration level.
c. Period for which payment under Goldberg-Kelly can be made
The instructions in this subsection supersede those in the NOTE in SI 02301.300B.2. to the extent that they conflict.
Continued benefits under Goldberg-Kelly are payable as long as a determination that is adverse to the claimant has not been made on any one of the following issues:
Alien lawful presence on 8/22/96 (see SI 00502.142B.2.b.); or
U.S. residency on 8/22/96 (see SI 00502.142B.2.a. and GN 00303.720).
However, continued benefits under Goldberg-Kelly stop effective with the month in which SSA makes an unfavorable reconsideration determination of SSI alien eligibility based on an adverse finding for any one of these three issues. This is because a finding unfavorable to the recipient for any one of these issues precludes eligibility under the exception condition for blind/disabled aliens who were lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96. The recipient should be informed of this limitation on continued benefits under Goldberg-Kelly via the usual notice procedures for post-eligibility cases.
NOTE: Because of the length of time it takes to issue a medical determination, the SSA FO should ask the DDS to process the medical determination on a priority basis since continued payments under Goldberg-Kelly are involved. This will help keep potential overpayments to a minimum if the DDS ultimately issues an unfavorable medical determination.
d. Systems considerations for Goldberg-Kelly
The input to place a record into Goldberg-Kelly payment protection must be done using the SSA-1719B in accordance with SM 01305.500 through SM 01305.700. (The input cannot be done through MSSICS.) See also the Goldberg-Kelly desk guide, located in the Title XVI CR resource kit under “Systems Information.”
For couples records, see SM 01305.595 and MSOM BUSSR 002.004 through MSOM BUSSR 002.006 and MSOM BUSSR 002.019.
Remember to update the appeals screens in MSSICS or Direct SSR Update once a decision has been made on the appeal. Transmit a separate SSA-1719B input to remove the case from protected status under Goldberg-Kelly.
D. Policy - effect of adjustment to LAPR or other qualified alien status during 7-year period
If an alien in one of the time-limited categories adjusts to another qualified alien category, such as LAPR during the 7-year period, the alien’s eligibility can continue during the entire 7 years as determined in SI 00502.106C of this section. See SI 00502.106E for when eligibility may continue beyond the 7-year period.
2. Systems coding for 7-year aliens who adjust to LAPR
For individuals who are currently LAPR, but are eligible for 7 years, based on prior status as an alien in one of the categories in SI 00502.106B of this section, input the Alien Status Code (AR) and the Alien Status Date (ASA) for the 7-year alien status (F, J, L, X, or 3) rather than the code LAPR. (Refer to SM 01005.632 and SM 01005.645 for non-MSSICS coding and MSOM MSSICS 008.016 for coding instructions for the Alien Data (AALN) screen.) Entering the coding for the relevant 7-year alien category will enable the SSI payment system to properly compute the ending date of the 7-year period and suspend benefits accordingly. Annotate the Remarks portion of the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) that the alien is currently in LAPR and the date LAPR status was granted in MMDDYYYY format.
E. Policy - when the 7-year limitation does not apply
An alien in one of the time-limited categories can remain eligible beyond the 7-year period if - at the time of filing or at any time during or after the 7-year period - the FO determines that the alien continues to be a qualified alien and he or she is one of the following:
Lawfully residing in the U.S. and was receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96 (SI 00502.150); or
Blind or disabled and was lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96 (SI 00502.142B; (see SI 00502.106C.3. of this section for when continued payment under Goldberg-Kelly may apply); or
LAPR with 40 Qualifying Quarters (QQs) (SI 00502.135); or
A veteran who meets the requirements in SI 00502.140; or
An active duty member of the Armed Forces of the United States (SI 00502.140); or
A spouse of a veteran or active duty military personnel (SI 00502.140.); or
A child of a veteran or person in active duty in the U.S. armed forces (SI 00502.140).
F. Assisting aliens who are subject to the 7-year rule
Take the following actions as appropriate to assist aliens who may be subject to the 7-year limitation on SSI eligibility. Follow the guidelines in GN 03910.000 if the claimant/recipient has an authorized representative:
During the initial claim interview, explain the 7-year limitation on eligibility to alien claimants who may be subject to this rule and the potential loss of SSI if they do not become U.S. citizens or meet another alien exception condition by the end of the 7 years.
Explain that eligibility will not be limited to 7 years if the person is:
The questions on the AALN screen in MSSICS cover each exception condition that permits SSI eligibility without a time limit. Be sure to consider eligibility under those conditions before determining the alien is eligible under the 7-year provision.
Provide alien claimants/recipients with existing SSA publications, such as the “Spotlight on Benefits for Aliens,” that contain information about the SSI alien eligibility rules and how to contact DHS about U.S. citizenship. Click on the following link to access the Spotlight at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/ssi/spotlights/spot-non-citizens.htm.
Provide information about becoming a U.S. citizen as follows:
If appropriate, advise the claimant/recipient that naturalization should be pursued well in advance of the 7-year suspension date to avoid an interruption in SSI benefits.
Give contact information for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS, the parent organization of the former Immigration and Naturalization Service).
Refer alien recipients/claimants to DHS online information about becoming a U.S. citizen:
http://www.uscis.gov/citizenship and http://www.uscis.gov/naturalization.
The SSI Award Notice explains that the recipient's eligibility is limited to 7 years and provides a list of the other eligible alien categories without a time limit.
Effective June 2005, SSA began issuing an annual notice to Supplemental Security Income recipients whose eligibility is limited to a maximum of 7 years due to their alien status. See SI 00502.106H and SI 00502.106I for exhibits of this notice in English and Spanish. The notice reminds the eligible alien of the need to pursue citizenship or other qualifying status in a timely manner in order to continue to be eligible for SSI benefits. The notice, SSA-L8165 Important Information, explains the provisions of the law to aliens who are eligible for SSI only for a limited time or until and unless they attain citizenship or meet other requirements. The reminder notices are issued to legally competent adult SSI recipients including, when appropriate, their eligible spouses, representative payees, legal guardians, and authorized representatives. The notice provides the date when eligibility will end for the recipient. The notice also provides telephone and website contact information for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) as well as contact information for SSA. The notice is shown in the Notice History field of the SSID and is archived in the On-Line Notice Retrieval System (ORS). The notice will be automatically issued once each year in June to remind aliens subject to the 7-year limit when the 7-year period began and when it will end, absent changes to their alien or citizenship status. At the end of the 7-year period, if alien status remains unchanged, the individual will receive the normal suspension notice.
Follow the existing information and referral procedures in GN 00903.050 to assist alien recipients in obtaining benefits from other agencies and Non-Government Organizations, as appropriate. This referral is crucial if SSI benefits are suspended due to the expiration of the 7-year period.
H. Exhibit – 7-year alien reminder notice (English)
Social Security Administration
Supplemental Security Income
Date: June 13, 2005
Claim Number: 999-99-9999 DI
CITY, ST ZIP
We are writing to tell you important information about your Supplemental Security Income (SSI).
The 7-Year SSI Rule for Aliens
We determined that you can get Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for a maximum of 7 years based on your immigration status. Under the law, the 7-year period began with July 2000, the month the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted your immigration status. We explained this in the notice we sent when SSI benefits were awarded.
IMPORTANT: Under the 7-Year Rule, your SSI benefits will end effective July 2007 unless you become a U.S. citizen or a noncitizen in one of the other categories of eligible aliens under the law.
U.S. Citizens Are Not Subject to the 7-Year Rule.
In general, a person who meets all of the SSI eligibility requirements can get SSI after the 7-year period, if he or she becomes a U.S. citizen. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in DHS is the U.S. Government Agency that decides who can become a U.S. citizen. Under USCIS rules, most persons who want to become U.S. citizens must meet the following requirements:
live in the U.S. as a lawfully admitted permanent resident for at least 5 years;
pass the USCIS test on the English language;
pass the USCIS test on the history and government of the United States.
See Next Page
999-99-9999 Page 2 of 3
Other Categories of Eligible Aliens
An alien who is getting SSI under the 7-year rule may be able to continue getting SSI benefits after the 7-year period, even if he or she does not become a U.S. citizen, if the alien:
is a lawfully admitted permanent resident who can be credited with at least 40 qualifying quarters of work (certain restrictions may apply);
was lawfully residing in the U.S. on August 22, 1996 and is blind or disabled at any age;
is lawfully residing in the U.S. and was receiving SSI on August 22, 1996;
is an honorably discharged veteran or current active duty member of the U.S. armed forces who meets certain requirements;
is a spouse or dependent child of a veteran or active duty member of the U.S. armed forces who meets certain requirements.
Contact SSA Right Away
Let us know right away if you become a U.S. citizen, if your immigration status changes, or if you could meet one of the other categories of eligible aliens.
Things to Remember
This information is also being sent to your authorized representative (NAME of REPRESENTATIVE) and to your representative payee.
Where to Find More Information
To learn more about how to become a U.S. citizen:
call U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) toll-free number at 1–800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TTY);
contact your local USCIS office; or
visit the USCIS websites at: uscis.gov/citizenship and uscis.gov/naturalization.
999-99-10000 Page 3 of 3
To learn more about SSI benefits for aliens:
Linda S. McMahon
I. Exhibit – 7-year alien reminder notice (Spanish)
Administración del Seguro Social
Seguridad de Ingreso Suplemental
Fecha: 15 de mayo de 2006
Número de Reclamación:
CITY STATE ZIP CODE
Le estamos escribiendo para darle información importante sobre los beneficios de Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario (SSI, las siglas en inglés) de usted.
La regla de 7 años para extranjeros
Hemos determinado que usted puede recibir Seguridad de Ingreso Suplementario (SSI) por un máximo de 7 años basado en su estado de inmigrante.
Bajo la ley, el período de 7 años comenzó con [mes del año], el mes en que el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (DHS, las siglas en inglés) otorgó el estado de inmigrante de usted.
Explicamos esto en la notificación que enviamos cuando se le aprobaron los beneficios de SSI.
¡IMPORTANTE! Bajo la regla de 7 añ os, los beneficios de SSI de usted terminarán efectivo con [mes de año] a menos que usted se convierta en un(a) ciudadano(a) de los EE.UU. o una persona no ciudadana en una de las otras categorías de extranjeros elegibles bajo la ley.
Los ciudadanos de los EE.UU. no están sujetos a la regla de 7 añ os
Por lo general, una persona que cumple con todos los requisitos de elegibilidad para SSI puede recibir SSI después del período de 7 años si él o ella se convierte en ciudadano de los EE.UU. Los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración de los EE.UU. (USCIS, sus siglas en inglés) en el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional es la agencia gubernamental de los EE.UU. que decide quién puede convertirse en ciudadano de los EE.UU. Bajo las reglas de USCIS, la mayoría de las personas que quieren convertirse en ciudadanos de los EE.UU. deben cumplir con los siguientes requisitos:
Vea La Página Siguiente
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Otras categorías de extranjeros elegibles
Es posible que un extranjero que está recibiendo SSI bajo la regla de 7 años pueda continuar recibiendo beneficios de SSI después del período de 7 años, aún si él o ella no se convierte en ciudadano de los EE.UU., si el extranjero:
es un residente permanente admitido legalmente que puede ser acreditado con por lo menos 40 créditos cualificados de trabajo (es posible que apliquen ciertas restricciones);
estaba residiendo legalmente en los EE.UU. el 22 de agosto de 1996 y es ciego o está incapacitado a cualquier edad;
está residiendo legalmente en los EE.UU. y estaba recibiendo SSI el 22 de agosto de 1996;
es un veterano con licencia honorable o un miembro en servicio activo de las fuerzas armadas de los EE.UU. que cumple con ciertos requisitos.
es un cónyuge o niño dependiente de un veterano o miembro en servicio activo de las fuerzas armadas de los EE.UU. que cumple con ciertos requisitos.
Comuníquese con la Administración del Seguro Social inmediatamente
Déjenos saber inmediatamente si usted se convierte en ciudadano(a) de los EE.UU., si su estado de inmigrante cambia, o si usted puede cumplir con una de las otras categorías de extranjeros elegibles.
Cosas para recordar
La otra carta que usted recibió con ésta es una traducción en inglés de la misma información que contiene esta carta.
Dónde encontrar más información
Para informarse mejor sobre cómo convertirse en ciudadano de los EE.UU.:
llame al número gratis de los Servicios de Ciudadanía e Inmigración (USCIS, por sus siglas en inglés) al 1-800-375-5283 o 1-800-767-1833 (TTY);
comuníquese con su oficina local de USCIS; o
visite los sitios de Internet de USCIS en uscis.gov/citizenship and uscis.gov/naturalization.
999-00-9999 Página 3 de 3
Para informarse mejor sobre los beneficios de SSI para extranjeros:
Linda S. McMahon