Public Law (P.L.) 104-193, “Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation
Act of 1996” (Welfare Reform) and P.L. 104-208, “Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant
Responsibility Act of 1996” (Immigration Reform) both provide that no monthly Title
II benefits may be paid to any alien in the United States (U.S.) for any month during
which the alien is not lawfully present, as determined by the Attorney General. Therefore,
in order to permit payment of TII benefits to an alien in the U.S., the alien must
be lawfully present in the U.S. for the entire calendar month. Both laws only affect
claimsfiled on or after December 1, 1996. These laws do not
affect beneficiaries whose claims were filed prior to December 1, 1996; these instructions
apply to them.
The Welfare Reform and Immigration Reform Acts did not amend section 202 (t) of the
Social Security Act and do not effect payments made outside the U.S.; but they do
have an effect on the alien nonpayment provision concerning payments made under Section
202 (t) (1) of the Act on the basis of establishing lawful presence in the U.S. See (RS 02610.020) - Establishing Absence and Presence in the United States (U.S.).
NOTE: Additional insured status requirements must be met for certain Alien Workers under
the Social Security Protection Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-203). Section 211 of P.L. 108-203
affects entitlement for the alien worker and any auxiliaries or survivors claiming Title II benefits
based on the alien worker's earnings. The lawful presence requirements in (RS 00204.000) – Lawful Presence Provisions, affect whether an alien claimant (NH, auxiliary, or
survivor) who is in the U.S. and who has established entitlement to a Title II benefit
can receive payment of that benefit. See (RS 00301.102) - Additional Requirements for Alien Workers-Social Security Protection Act of 2004.