TN 20 (04-10)

SI 00502.302 Aliens Whose 7-year Eligibility Period Ended August 22, 1996, through October, 1, 2008, and who SSA Manually Reinstated

To determine if the alien is eligible for the benefit extension as provided in P.L. 110-328, follow these procedures if SSA reinstated the alien’s payments, per SI 00502.301D.1. See SI 00502.301, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act.

A. Procedure for developing eligibility for an extension

1. Contact the alien

  1. Send an SSA-L8003 (Supplemental Security Income Request for Information) to contact the alien and arrange to have him or her submit the documentation not obtained at the time of reinstatement, including medical information if appropriate. Use the following language as a guide:

    “When we started your SSI payments again, we told you that we were going to re-contact you to verify that you were eligible to receive the benefit extension. Please call our office to schedule an appointment. The phone number is at the top of this letter. When you come in, please bring your immigration documents or citizenship application receipt and this letter with you.”

  2. Send a follow-up request after 15 days. Process the follow-ups according to the guidelines in SI 02306.020 and ask the alien to respond within 30 days.

  3. Suspend benefits using N13 effective with October 1, 2008, (or the reinstatement date if it is later than October 1, 2008) if the alien does not respond after 30 days,

  4. Process any overpayment under current guidelines in SI 02201.005.

2. Verify extension eligibility

Review the AR field in the Supplemental Security Record (SSR) PRSN segment and any other relevant immigration documentation to determine the alien’s eligibility for the benefit extension. If the AR field is not a “J”, “X”, “F”, “L”, or “3”, the alien is NOT eligible for the extension. Update the AR field if it is incorrect.

Be alert to situations where the record is miscoded.

3. Verify citizenship status

a. Extension rules

The extension does not apply to current U.S. citizens because they are not subject to the 7-year eligibility period affected by this law. Therefore, if the alien attained citizenship prior to October 1, 2008, he or she is not eligible for the three-year extension. However, a naturalized U.S. citizen whose benefits ceased may be eligible again for SSI if he or she files a new application. If he or she previously received SSI benefits, and is within their 12-month suspension period, they may be eligible without the need for a new application.

b. Alien is a citizen

If the alien is now a citizen:

  • verify per GN 00303.300,

  • conduct a redetermination per SI 02305.022, and determine whether benefits are payable from October 1, 2008, on,

  • record the citizenship data on the Alien Data (AALN) screen if the case is in MSSICS, or T33 and start date via an SSA-450S and code the AR field is “C” if the case is not in MSSICS, and

  • resume benefits under current guidelines in SI 00501.400.

If the alien is ineligible prior to becoming a U.S. citizen, consider the ineligibility period as an overpayment and process in accordance to SI 02201.005. Payments will resume when the alien re-attains eligibility.

If the alien is not a citizen, follow the procedures in SI 00502.302A.3.c. in this section to determine if the alien qualifies for the three-year benefit extension.

c. Alien alleges having a pending citizenship application

If the alien alleges having a pending citizenship application, verify the status of the application as follows:

  1. Obtain the original DHS Form I-797 C, (Notice of Action) which is the receipt for the citizenship application. The I-797 C must contain the Notice Date, Case Type, USCIS Alien file number (A#), Application Number, application Received Date and Priority Date. The notice must show the case type as “N-400 Application for Naturalization.

  2. Technicians may accept other official correspondence from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) as proof if it contains a receipt number, the A-file number, date application received, and provides details on the status of the application.

  3. Query Case Status Online (CSOL) to verify the DHS Form I-797:

    • Enter the receipt number (labeled “application number” found in the upper left corner of the I-797, third row down) in the current case status block. The receipt number is a 13-character number (a 10-digit number preceded by a three letter code).

    • Input the entire letter-number combination as shown on the receipt.

  4. If the online response highlights one of the following application statuses:

    • Acceptance

    • Initial Review

    • Request for Evidence

    • Testing and Interview

    • Decision

    • Post-decision Activity

    • Document Production or Oath Ceremony

      1. document the Evidence Screen (EVID) screen with the appropriate statement, (for example, “Citizenship application or swearing in ceremony pending”), the pending application date, the receipt number, the action code, and the A-file number, and

      2. continue with the procedures in SI 00502.302A.5. in this section.

        NOTE: These statuses indicate that the citizenship application is pending or may be “in suspense” while USCIS reviews another matter. Treat the citizenship application as pending, even if the USCIS temporarily suspended development.

  5. If the online response returns a reply showing “Your case cannot be found at this time in My Case Status. Please check your receipt number and try again. If you need further assistance please call the National Customer Service Number at 1-800-375-5283” this indicates that the USCIS may have rejected the application for one of the following reasons:

    • incorrect application fee submitted,

    • application not timely filed,

    • applicant does not meet the 3 or 5 years minimum LPR requirement, or

    • applicant filed more than 3 months prior to meeting the residency requirements, or

    • it’s been only ten business days or less since the applicant filed and the application has not been logged onto the USCIS CSOL system.

    • there is no record of filing, or the receipt may be counterfeit.

      1. If less than ten days elapsed since filing, obtain a copy of the I-797 or input the information shown in SI 00502.302A.3.c.1. in this section onto the Evidence Screen (EVID) screen to verify at a later time.

      2. If ten days or more elapsed since filing, continue with the procedures in SI 00502.302A.4. to determine if the alien qualifies for the two-year benefit extension.

If the alien does not allege having a pending citizenship application, follow the procedures in SI 00502.302A.4. to determine if the alien qualifies for the two-year benefit extension.

4. Verify alien status and obtain the good faith declaration

If the alien has not filed for citizenship, does not have an I-797, or you cannot verify that the citizenship application is pending via the USCIS website:

  1. Advise the alien that SSA can pay him or her for up to two years, but no later than September 30, 2011, if he or she signs a good faith declaration to pursue U.S. Citizenship and meets one of the eligibility factors for the benefit extension. To determine eligibility, see SI 00502.301A.

  2. Check the AR field in the PRSN segment on the SSR.

    • If the AR field is “X”, the alien was admitted as a Cuban/Haitian and may be eligible for the benefit extension. For the definition of Cuban/Haitian for SSI purposes, see SI 00502.108.

    • If the AR field is “J”, “F”, “L”, or “3”, query SAVE to determine if the alien’s status was adjusted to LPR. If the SAVE query does not provide verification, and the alien alleges adjustment to LPR, institute secondary verification with DHS by following procedures in SI 00502.115.

  3. Determine if the alien meets LPR time frames

    • If the alien has been LPR for fewer than 6 years as of October 1, 2008, and has not had that status rescinded, he or she may be eligible for the extension.

    • If the alien filed for adjustment to LPR within 4 years of the date he or she began receiving SSI and such status is pending, he or she may be eligible for the extension.

    • Document the Evidence Screen (EVID) screen with “Good Faith Established”, the LPR adjustment or pending adjustment date, and the A-file number.

  4. Explain the provisions of the Kaplan class action settlement in SI 00502.301C.5. to the alien. You may also give the alien the Internet address for USCIS , at www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis .

  5. Check the date of birth on the SSR

    • If the alien is under age 18 as of October 1, 2008, he or she may be eligible for the extension and is not required to sign the good faith declaration.

    • If the alien is 18 or older as of October 1, 2008, he or she must sign the good faith declaration.

  6. Print the good faith declaration from Forms Inventory Control System (FICS) , read the declaration to the alien and have him or her sign it. Electronic versions of the SSA-795 are acceptable if a MSSICS file is open and you copy the language onto the Person Statement (DPST) screen.

  7. Explain the necessity for the declaration using this language: “You must be trying or plan to become a U.S. citizen to get the 2-year extension. If you can’t qualify for citizenship now, you must be planning to become a U.S. citizen if and when the law allows you to do so. If you do not sign this statement for any reason or you cannot sign the statement because you are not planning to become a U.S. citizen then we will not be able to pay you the benefits for the two additional years.”

  8. Fax the form into the appropriate repository (eDIB folder or NDRED) along with a copy of the immigration document. Return the originals to the person.

  9. If the alien qualifies for the two-year benefit extension, continue with the procedures in SI 00502.302A.5. in this section. If the alien does not qualify for the two-year benefit extension, stop his or her benefits as of the date the alien was no longer eligible for the extension. The later of October 1, 2008, or the date of reinstatement or continuance. See the procedures in SI 00502.302A.7. in this section. Process any overpayment using current guidelines in SI 02201.005.

5. Develop other non-medical factors of eligibility

The FO should have completed a redetermination (RZ) prior to reinstating benefits if the record terminated (T30, T31, T33). If the FO did not conduct an RZ, conduct an unscheduled RZ per SI 02305.022.

If the SSR was in N13 suspense when the FO reinstated benefits, no RZ was needed. However, the FO should have updated income and resources at that time.

6. Determine if medical review is needed

  1. If the alien is age 55 or older, assume that he or she continues to be disabled unless there is subsequent evidence to the contrary (e.g., a medically denied Title 2 disability claim). Continue payments without obtaining any additional documentation of continuing disability.

  2. If the alien is a DI/DS or BI/BS and under age 55 and was not previously eligible as a disabled child, check the medical reexam (MR) diary date (shown in the DIAR segment on the SSR; see SM 01601.595 Disability Data – DISB).

    NOTE: If the SSR was Start Dated (SD) to reinstate the claimant, the technician should have brought the MR diary on the terminated SSR forward to the SD record. If this was not done, add the MR diary date to the SD record.

    • If the MR diary is a future date, assume the alien continues to be disabled. Continue without any additional documentation of continuing disability.

    • If the medical reexam diary date matured, ask the alien if his or her disability continues. Obtain the answers to the questions on the SSA-455. (see exhibit DI 13004.020).

    • If the alien answers question 1 “no,” question 2 “same” or “worse,” and question 3 “no,” the alien continues to be disabled. Continue without any further documentation. Fax a copy of the SSA-455 into eDIB. If the alien answers question 3 “yes” or in some other way suggests he or she may no longer be disabled, continue payments and initiate a medical continuing disability review (CDR).

      • Establish the CDR on the DCF, see MSOM CDR 001.016.

      • Obtain an SSA-454, Continuing Disability Review Report, and sufficient SSA-827s, Authorization to Disclose Information to the Social Security Administration.

      • Obtain the folder containing medical evidence for the last favorable medical decision.

      • Establish eCDR, per DI 81010.230.

      • Send the case to the DDS for a medical decision as priority per current instructions on CDR processing DI 13005.001.

      • When DDS makes the decision, process as any other CDR. Continue or cease payments effective with the medical cessation date as appropriate.

  3. If the alien was eligible as a disabled child (DC) and is now over age 18, continue payments and initiate the age 18 redetermination.

    • Establish age 18 Redetermination on DCF, per MSOM CDR 001.016.

    • Locate the Comparison Point Decision (CPD) folder containing medical records for last favorable medical decision.

    • Obtain an SSA-3368 and sufficient SSA-827s.

    • Establish EDCS eCDR and transfer to the DDS. For instructions, DI 81010.230.

    • When the DDS makes the disability determination, process as any other CDR. Continue or cease payments effective with the medical cessation date as appropriate.

7. Systems processing

MSSICS Case in C01:

  • Update the Alien Status (AALN) screen with the time limited extension information as follows:

    When page 3 of AALN enters path, if the claimant has attained age 18 as of 10/01/08, and may be potentially eligible for an extension, answer COLLECT TIME LIMITED INFORMATION is Y.

  • Follow the progression of questions as they appear on the screen. Answer each according to relevance. Continue through the MSSICS path and then build to the SSR:

    If the claimant is eligible for an extension based on the answers and dates contained within page 3 of AALN, the system will built the appropriate AER (Alien Eligibility Reason) value to the SSR. This value controls the extension eligibility period, allowing the system to properly identify when the claimants extension period would end.

    If the claimant is NOT eligible for an extension based on the answers or dates contained within page 3 of AALN, the system will build the appropriate Pay Status of N13.

  • Notices should be suppressed when building to the SSR, and a manual notice generated.

MSSICS Cases in M02:

  • When page 3 of AALN enters path, if the claimant has attained age 18 as of 10/01/08, and may be potentially eligible for an extension, answer COLLECT TIME LIMITED INFORMATION is Y.

  • Follow the progression of questions as they appear on the screen. Answer each according to relevance. Continue through the MSSICS path and then build to the SSR:

    • If the claimant is eligible for an extension based on the answers and dates contained within page 3 of AALN, the system will built the appropriate AER (Alien Eligibility Reason) value to the SSR. This value will control the extension eligibility period, allowing the system to properly identify when the claimants extension period would end.

    • If the claimant is NOT eligible for an extension based on the answers or dates contained within page 3 of AALN, the system will build the appropriate Pay Status of N13.

Non-MSSICS Case M02:

Day one:

  • Terminate the record if eligible for the extension, move to day 2

  • If not eligible for extension:

    • M02 to zero for the appropriate months, both prospectively and retroactively if applicable. The System will compute the overpayment amount.

    • Develop overpayment if necessary.

    • Place REMARK on SSR with details of denial

      Example: Denied N13. Retroactive to MMDDYY.

      Leave all prior P.L. 110-328 remarks for future reference.

NOTE: The System will terminate force pay records. After 12 months the record will go into T31.

Day two:

  • Use CCM as start date

  • Enter correct ZX field value (AER code) that corresponds with conditions of reinstatement.

    • After the system establishes the start dated record, seed the case into MSSICS.

    • Update the Alien Status (AALN) screen with the time limited extension information.

      If the alien is eligible for the benefit extension, the system will establish the SSR with an AER (Alien Eligibility Reason) value to control for the extension. The system will put the case into N13 at the end of the claimant’s extension period.

NOTE: If the appropriate AER code is not entered, the alien may not appear eligible for the benefit extension; the system would then build the appropriate status of PSY N13.

B. Additional tools for alien extension processing

  1. To access systems instructions, link to:

    EM-09064 Systems Changes to Automate the SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act ; - 09/24/2009.

  2. Technicians also have access to the “Hot Topics ” page in PolicyNet.

  3. A special mailbox created to field questions to OPSOS or OISP:

    ^DCO SSIAlien Extension Act Help

C. Manual notice

If the alien does not qualify for the benefit extension, issue a manual denial notice on a SSA-L8155, Notice of Planned Action. Add an additional sub-paragraph under the caption, “Alien Categories.” Use the following language:

“12. Aliens who are eligible under the law entitled, “The SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act.” This law temporarily extends the 7-year eligibility limit for certain refugees, asylees, and other humanitarian aliens, to a maximum of 9 years during the period October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2011. Aliens whose naturalization application are pending or received a notice to appear at a naturalization ceremony are exempted from the 7-year eligibility limitation during this time period.”

If you deny the claim because the individual is not making, or does not wish to make a good faith effort to pursue citizenship, add the following language:

“You are no longer eligible to receive SSI based on the Extension for Elde