BASIC (04-00)

VB 00205.205 Removal or Deportation From the United States

A. Policy

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 month after the month in which SSA received the notice; or

  • the date of entitlement to SVB.

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.

B. Process

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;

  • sex;

  • 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.

C. Procedure--General

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/dep