TN 9 (12-00)

SI 00502.150 Qualified Aliens Receiving Benefits On 8/22/96 (Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33)

A. Background

P.L. 105-33 provides that qualified aliens (SI 00502.100A.2.) who were receiving benefits on 8/22/96 and who are lawfully residing in the U.S. may remain eligible indefinitely, provided all other factors of eligibility continue to be met. These qualified aliens are considered to be “grandfathered.”

An alien is lawfully residing in the U.S. if he/she is a resident of the U.S. and is “lawfully present” as defined by the U.S. Attorney General. All qualified aliens are considered to be “lawfully present” for supplemental security income (SSI) purposes (SI 00502.142B.2.b.).

NOTE: For purposes of the grandfathering provision described in this section, “resident of the U.S.” includes a resident of the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Guam, or the Virgin Islands of the United States. However, keep in mind that, unless there is an exception (for example, certain children of military parents stationed abroad (SI 00501.415)), to actually receive SSI benefits an individual must be a resident of the U.S. as defined in GN 00303.720.

IMPORTANT: This section concerns qualified aliens who were receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96 and are lawfully residing in the U.S. Do not confuse the instructions in this section with those in SI 00502.142. The instructions in SI 00502.142 concern blind or disabled qualified aliens who were not receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96 but who were lawfully residing in the U.S. on 8/22/96.

See SI 00502.153 for instructions concerning nonqualified aliens who were receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96.

B. Policy

1. Individuals Considered to Have Been Receiving SSI Benefits on 8/22/96

For purposes of this section, the following individuals are considered to have been receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96:

  • recipients who were in current pay status on 8/22/96;

  • individuals who were in payment status N01 with section 1619(b) status;

  • individuals who, on 8/22/96, were in:

    • a nonpay status (for example, N01, N03, or N04)

      or

    • a suspense status (for example, S06 or S08)

      or

    • payment status E01; and

  • individuals who filed for SSI prior to 8/22/96 (or who had protective filing dates earlier than 8/22/96) and whose claims are or were allowed at the initial claim level or at any level in the appeals process (reconsideration, hearing, or Appeals Council), including claims allowed at the Federal Court level.

    For claims filed prior to 8/22/96, it does not matter whether final adjudication to allowance occurred prior to, on, or after 8/22/96. If the claim is or was allowed, the individual is considered to have been “receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96” for purposes of this section.

2. Qualified Aliens Who Were Receiving SSI Benefits on 8/22/96

a. Ongoing Eligibility

If a qualified alien was receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96 (as defined in
SI 00502.150B.1.), the alien can continue receiving SSI indefinitely -- provided all other factors of eligibility continue to be met. Such an alien does not have to meet one of the eligibility conditions listed in SI 00502.100A.4. The alien is considered to be “grandfathered.”

EXAMPLE 1: An alien who is lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LAPR) has received SSI since 2/95. The alien can continue receiving SSI indefinitely based on her qualified alien status. To continue receiving SSI, the alien does not have to have 40 qualifying quarters (QQs) of earnings (SI 00502.135) or meet the “veteran/active duty military” criteria (SI 00502.140).

EXAMPLE 2: A section 207 refugee has received SSI since 7/96. The refugee can continue receiving SSI indefinitely based on her qualified alien status. It does not matter how long the alien is (or was) in refugee status--the “7-year” limitation on eligibility (SI 00502.100A.3.e. and SI 00502.106) does not apply.

b. Grandfathered Qualified Alien Loses SSI Eligibility and Subsequently Refiles

If a “grandfathered” qualified alien loses eligibility after 12 months of nonpayment (for example, due to excess income or resources) subsequently refiles for SSI and is still in a qualified alien category (SI 00502.100A.2.), the alien retains his/her grandfathering status. To begin receiving benefits again, the alien does not have to meet one of the other alien eligibility conditions listed in SI 00502.100A.3.b.-SI 00502.100A.3.d.

EXAMPLE: The individual had been receiving SSI since 2/94 as a section 208 asylee. In 6/99, his eligibility terminates after 12 months of N01 (excess income) payment status.

In 7/99, the individual (who still has section 208 asylee status) refiles for SSI. Because he is a qualified alien at the time of refiling, he retains his SSI alien eligibility grandfathering status.

A year later, the recipient reports that his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration status has been adjusted to lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LAPR) status. The individual remains eligible for SSI based on his LAPR status (a qualified alien status). He does not have to have 40 QQs of earnings (SI 00502.135) or meet the “veteran/active duty military” criteria (SI 00502.140).

c. Grandfathered Alien Loses Qualified Alien Status

If DHS changes a grandfathered individual's alien status and, as a result, the individual is no longer in a qualified alien category, SSI eligibility is suspended (payment status N13) effective with the first day following the month in which qualified alien status is lost.

EXCEPTION: If DHS changes the individual's status to a status that meets the under Permanent Resident Under Color of Law (PRUCOL) standard (SI 00501.420), the individual retains his/her grandfathering rights. (See SI 00502.153 for the grandfathering rules that apply to nonqualified PRUCOL aliens who were receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96.)

If the individual (who did not meet the PRUCOL standard) subsequently regains qualified alien status, the alien regains SSI grandfathering rights and may begin receiving SSI benefits again (assuming all other factors of eligibility are met). In such a case, eligibility can resume no earlier than the day on which qualified alien status is granted again. Also, the individual's benefits are prorated for the month in which qualified alien status is regained. (See SI 02005.007 for instructions on proration.)

NOTE: If an individual who regains qualified alien status has been in nonpay status (including payment status N13) for 12 or more consecutive months, under current SSI policy the individual may be required to file a new application to begin receiving benefits again. (See SI 02301.200 ff. for instructions on reinstating eligibility after a period of nonpay status.)

C. References

  • Basic SSI Alien Eligibility Requirements, SI 00502.100

  • Exemption from Alien Provisions for Certain Noncitizen Indians, SI 00502.105

  • Time-Limited Eligibility for Certain Aliens, SI 00502.106

  • General Alien Development, SI 00502.110

  • Verification of Alien Eligibility with DHS, SI 00502.115

  • Qualified Alien Status Based on Battery or Extreme Cruelty By a Family Member, SI 00502.116

  • Eligibility on the Basis of Receiving SSI Benefits on an Application Filed Before January 1, 1979, SI 00502.120

  • Documentary Evidence of Qualified Alien Status, SI 00502.130

  • LAPR with 40 Qualifying Quarters of Earnings, SI 00502.135

  • Veteran or Active Duty Member of the Armed Forces, a Spouse, or a Dependent Child, SI 00502.140

  • Qualified Aliens Who are Blind or Disabled and Lawfully Residing in the U.S. on
    8/22/96, SI 00502.142

  • Development of Marital Relationships, SI 00502.145

  • Readjudication of N13 Denials that Were Based on Alien Eligibility Law in Effect Prior to 8/5/97, SI 00502.152

  • SSI Eligibility for Nonqualified Aliens Who Were Receiving SSI on 8/22/96, SI 00502.153

  • Individuals Who Received Informal Denials Based on Alien Eligibility Law in Effect Prior to 8/5/97, SI 00502.158

  • Alien Systems Input Instructions, MSOM MSSICS 008.001 -1, SI 00502.142, and SM 01005.630 ff.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0500502150
SI 00502.150 - Qualified Aliens Receiving Benefits On 8/22/96 (Balanced Budget Act of 1997, P.L. 105-33) - 08/05/2014
Batch run: 08/05/2014
Rev:08/05/2014