Chart of Immigrant Eligibility for Federal Programs

2/24/2014

FEDERAL PROGRAM

 ELIGIBILITY

 Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

 Refugees: eligible for seven years (nine year eligibility was in effect FY2009-FY2011)

 

 Legal immigrant SSI recipients resident in the United States on or before 8/22/96

 

 Legal immigrants resident on or before 8/22/96 who are or become disabled

 

 Legal immigrants with 40 work quarters

 

 Veterans, active military and their spouses and dependents

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

 Legal immigrant children (benefits restored as of Oct. 1, 2003)

  (formerly Food Stamps)

 Legal immigrants with 5 years residence in the United States (benefits restored as of April 1, 2003)*

 

 Legal immigrants with 40 work quarters

 

 Refugees

 

 Elderly, resident in the U.S. on or before Aug. 22, 1996

 

 Disabled or blind immigrants, regardless of when they entered the United States

 

 Veterans, active military and their spouses and dependents

 Temporary Assistancen for Needy Families (TANF)

 Legal immigrants residing in the United States on or before 8/22/96 at state option

 

 Legal immigrants who enter the United States after Aug. 22, 1996: barred for first 5 years*

 

 Legal immigrants with 40 work quarters

 

 Refugees

 

 Veterans, active military and their spouses and dependents

 Medicaid

 Legal immigrants residing in the United States on or before Aug. 22, 1996 at state option

 

 Legal immigrants who enter the United States after Aug. 22, 1996: barred for first 5 years*

 

 Legal immigrants with 40 work quarters

 

 Refugees (eligible for first 7 years of residence)

 

 Veterans, active military and their spouses and dependents

 

 SSI recipients

 Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP)

 Legal immigrant children residing in the United States on or before Aug. 22, 1996

 

 Legal immigrant children who enter the United States after Aug. 22, 1996: barred for first 5 years*

 

 Refugees (eligible for first seven years of residence)

 

 Children of veterans and active military (unmarried, dependent)

Affordable Care Act (ACA)

 Legal immigrants:

 

-Who enter the United States afterAug. 22, 1996 are barred for first  five years* (unless a state offers Medicaid/CHIP option for children and pregnant women)

 

- ubject to individual mandate

 

-Eligible for premium tax credits and lower copayments

 

-May enroll in a qualified health plan from state insurance exchanges

 

- Eligible for pre-existing condition insurance plan and basic health plan

NOTES:   Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (DACA) grantees are ineligible for Medicaid, CHIP and ACA benefits.

“Refugee” on this chart also includes asylees, Cuban-Haitian entrants, Amerasians, and those whose deportation has been withheld.   Victims of domestic abuse and victims of trafficking may be eligible for the above programs, but they must still meet eligibility requirements (for example, 5 years residence or 40 work quarters.)

*Sponsor-to-immigrant deeming applies to legal immigrants who have signed a legally binding affidavit of support on or after December 19, 1997.  The income and resources of the sponsor are counted as available to the immigrant when determining the immigrant’s eligibility.

Prepared by Ann Morse, Immigrant Policy Project, NCSL

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