VB 00205.205 Removal or Deportation From the United States
As stated in VB 00205.200B., an individual cannot be qualified for SVB for any month that begins AFTER the month in which SSA is notified by the Attorney General that the veteran has been removed from the United States pursuant to section 237(a) or 212(a)(6)(A) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and BEFORE the month in which the individual is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence. The notice is issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
NOTE: For proceedings initiated before April 1997, removals (then referred to as deportations) were taken under section 241(a) of the INA. Treat deportations under section 241(a) of the INA the same as removals under 237(a) of the INA (i.e., as a disqualifying event for SVB).
If the DHS notice is received by SSA before the qualification determination is made, the removal or deportation results in denial of the SVB claim.
If the DHS notice is received after the date of the notice of qualification, the removal or deportation results in the suspension of SVB payments. Payments are suspended effective with the month after the month in which the notice was received by SSA.
NOTE: In the rare case in which the DHS notice is received between the date the qualification determination is made and the month in which the individual is determined to be entitled to SVB, the individual is placed in suspense status effective with the later of the following:
The determination of qualification cannot be reversed since it was correct when it was made, but the individual cannot receive any payments because of his/her removal from the United States.
Each month, INS sends SSA lists of individuals who were removed from the United States during the previous month. If the DHS records contain the individual's Social Security Number (SSN), this is included on the listing.
The removal information is matched against SSA's files to determine if an SSN can be located for the individual, or to verify that the SSN provided by DHS is correct. If the match verifies the SSN or produces a possible SSN for the individual, the removal information is entered onto the Disability, Railroad, Alien and Military Service (DRAMS) file using that SSN.
The DRAMS output will show the:
name and alias, if any;
date of birth;
country of birth;
country to which removed;
date of removal;
removal final charge code;
INS alien registration number; and
date the DHS notice was received by SSA.
NOTE: The date the DHS notice was received by SSA is important for determining whether a pending claim must be denied or, if payments must be suspended, the month of suspension.
If a claimant/beneficiary indicates that he/she has been deported or if a report of a removal is received from some other source, obtain a DRAMS file printout to verify the removal and to determine if the removal requires denial or suspension.
See VB 00205.050C.2. for information on accessing the DRAMS file.
1. DRAMS Record Located
Compare the identifying information on the DRAMS file with that for the claimant/beneficiary to determine if there is an identity problem. If it is in substantial agreement, and the claimant/beneficiary does not state that he/she was subsequently lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, take action to deny the claim or suspend benefits as appropriate.
If the claimant/beneficiary has stated that he/she was subsequently lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence, develop for evidence of such admission as explained in GN 00303.440.
NOTE: The SSR or SSI file can be used as evidence of lawful admission for permanent residence if it establishes that the date of this admission was after the date of the individual's removal from the United States.
If subsequent lawful admission for permanent residence is not established, take action to deny the claim or suspend benefits as appropriate.
If subsequent lawful admission for permanent residence is established, take action to have the removal record deleted from the DRAMS file as explained in RS 02635.005B.4.
2. No DRAMS Record Located
Occasionally, an individual will claim to have been removed/deported and there is no DRAMS record to support the claim. This can be an indication that DHS did not send SSA a record of the removal, or that while the individual thought he/she was deported, DHS directed his/her departure without the issuance of a formal removal order. (For SVB purposes, the individual must have been issued a formal order of removal as a result of a hearing before an Immigration Judge to cause disqualificiation.)
In such cases, contact DHS as explained in RS 02635.025. Contact the Office of International Programs (OIP) at (410) 965-3566 if DHS confirms that the individual was formally deported.
D. Procedure—Identity Question
If disagreements with the identifying information on the DRAMS file cast doubt on whether the removal report applies to the claimant/beneficiary:
advise the claimant/beneficiary of the removal report;
obtain a statement of explanation when he/she disagrees with the deportation report; and
obtain available evidence to support the claim that he/she is not the person on the removal report.
If the removal record does not belong to the claimant/beneficiary, have the DRAMS record deleted as explained in RS 02635.005B.4.
If it appears that the DHS report was associated with the correct record but the claimant/beneficiary protests and states the record does not apply to him/her:
Obtain a statement of explanation and any evidence available (preferably a statement from DHS) to support his/her claim (e.g., if the individual may allege that his/her identity papers were stolen).
Telephone OIP at (410) 965-3566 if the claimant/beneficiary is unable to resolve the identity problem.
Delete the entry from the DRAMS record, as explained in RS 02635.005B.4., if it is determined that the record does not apply to the claimant/beneficiary.