POMS instructions in effect prior to the issuance of EM-97207 (dated 12/18/97) stated
that aliens who were not receiving SSI benefits on 8/22/96 were subject to 1996 welfare
and immigration reform law for the entire period in the life of their SSI applications,
even if that included periods prior to 8/22/96.
EM-97207 changed those instructions. Under current policy, SSA applies the alien eligibility
law that was in effect prior to 8/22/96 to any pre-8/22/96 period in the life of the individual's application. This policy
applies to all aliens who filed for SSI prior to 8/22/96 or whose protective filing
dates are prior to 8/22/96.
Pursuant to EM-97207, field offices (FOs) were to readjudicate SSI claims that had
been denied N13 as a result of the POMS instructions that were in effect prior to
the issuance of EM-97207.
IMPORTANT: Because these were readjudications--as opposed to reopenings--the rules of administrative
finality did not apply.
The readjudication initiative described in EM-97207 also applied to:
individuals who applied for SSI prior to 8/22/96, who were denied on or after
8/22/96 based on alien status under 1996 welfare and immigration reform law, and
who had (or have) pending reconsiderations, hearings, or requests for Appeals Council
the processing of hearings that were remanded to FOs for revised determinations of
eligibility in light of the changes in law contained in P.L. 105-33.
IMPORTANT: Under current law, the alien eligibility of a qualified or nonqualified alien who
received SSI benefits on 8/22/96 (or, as may be the case in a readjudicated claim,
received benefits for 8/22/96) is "grandfathered." (See SI 00502.100A.2. and SI 00502.100A.7. for the categories of qualified and nonqualified aliens, respectively. See SI 00502.150 for the grandfathering rules that apply to qualified aliens and SI 00502.153 for the grandfathering rules that apply to nonqualified aliens.)