The USCIS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Social Security Administration
(SSA) have entered into a settlement agreement in a national class action, Kaplan, et al. v. Chertoff, et al. This class action challenged alleged delays by the government in adjudicating immigration
applications for adjustment of status (Form I-485) and naturalization (Form N-400)
for those individuals who are receiving or have received SSI benefits and the resulting
actual or potential cut-off of SSI benefits. The settlement agreement took effect
March 5, 2008, and will remain in effect until February 5, 2011.
As part of the settlement agreement, SSI non-citizen claimants (potential, current
or former claimants) who contact SSA concerning their SSI benefits should receive
the following information:
The availability of USCIS expedited processing of naturalization (N-400) applications;
The availability of expedited processing of adjustment of status (I-485) applications;
The ability to apply for a fee waiver.
Inform the alien SSI claimant subject to time-limited SSI eligibility that if they
have a pending I-485 or N-400, they (or their representative) may call USCIS toll
free at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TTY) and request expedited processing:
by going to the local USCIS office; or
at the time, the alien files an I-485 or N-400.
If the alien SSI claimant has not yet filed an I-485 or N-400 application, the claimant
may apply for a fee waiver and expedited processing when they file the application.
If the claimant mails the application, instruct the claimant to write the word “KAPLAN” on the outside of the mailing envelope. Advise the claimant to keep a record of
Notify the alien SSI claimant subject to time-limited SSI eligibility that they can
learn more about applying for a fee waiver by:
contacting USCIS toll free at 1-800-375-5283 or 1-800-767-1833 (TTY),
contacting their local USCIS office, or
by visiting the USCIS website and reviewing the fee waiver
or naturalization information.
The alien SSI claimant may also seek advice about getting their immigration case expedited
or fee waivers from Kaplan class counsel at Community Legal Services, Philadelphia,
PA, by calling toll-free, 1-800-889-4369.
IMPORTANT: Be aware that “Expedite” does not mean that background checks or the adjudication
of an application will be completed by a certain date, nor does “Expedited Processing”
guarantee approval of an application. This is contained in the Kaplan agreement stipulations
and we do not want to create a false expectation on the part of the applicant. Do not make assurances or
assumptions on the expedited processing. Tell the applicant that all questions
or inquiries regarding the Kaplan settlement and their pending immigration
applications must be directed to USCIS.