Individuals who inquired about supplemental security income (SSI) benefits on or after
8/22/96 may have received informal denials based on alien status under 1996 welfare
and immigration reform law. These individuals, who never filed applications, may now
be eligible under the alien eligibility provisions of P.L. 105-33, the Balanced Budget
Act of 1997, which was enacted on 8/5/97.
Through 3/31/99, SSA will treat the date of these individual's prior inquiries as protective filing
dates, regardless of whether or not the prior protective filings were closed out.
This is a departure from the usual SSI protective filing closeout instructions that
apply to oral inquiries and written statements.
NOTE: For these special instructions to apply, the field office (FO) must have proper documentation
that the protective filing occurred. (See SI 00601.030 for documentation requirements.)
These instructions also apply to an individual who is receiving SSI based on an application
filed after the prior 60-day protective filing period elapsed (for example, the SSA-L991-U3 was
issued in 12/96 and the individual subsequently filed a claim in 5/97). If such an
individual comes to your attention, consider whether an earlier filing date can be
established based on the instructions in this section.
EXAMPLE: On 2/25/97, an 80-year-old disabled lawfully admitted for permanent residence (LAPR)
alien inquired about filing for SSI. The alien could not be credited with 40 qualifying
quarters (QQs) of coverage and did not meet the "military/veteran" exception. The
claims representative (CR) advised the individual that, under the law then in effect,
the individual was not an eligible alien and therefore could not receive SSI. The
alien chose not to file a claim. On 2/26/97, the CR issued an SSA-L991-U3 to close
out the inquiry.
On 11/24/98, the alien again inquired about SSI eligibility. The alien showed the
CR the SSA-L991-U3 they received in 1997 and indicated they now wish to file for SSI.
Based on the date of the prior inquiry, the CR established a protective filing date
IMPORTANT: Be alert to situations where an individual never received an informal denial but
a deemed filing date can be established based on a determination that the individual
was misinformed by SSA about the then current SSI alien eligibility criteria or the
right to file an SSI claim (GN 00204.008). (Note, however, that if SSA gave out eligibility information that was correct at
the time, that does not constitute "misinformation.")
EXAMPLE OF MISINFORMATION
An alien inquired about filing for SSI. The SSA representative told the individual
(incorrectly) that only U.S. citizens can receive SSI. As a result, the individual
chose not to file a claim.