Release 68: Effective January 1, 2013

Noncitizens -
B.  Noncitizens Eligibility for SNAP


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  1. Alien status requirement
  2. FNS limits eligibility for SNAP benefits to U.S. citizens and certain lawfully present noncitizens. There are two specific groups of noncitizens: "Qualified" noncitizens and "unqualified" noncitizens. Generally, a noncitizen must be a "qualified" noncitizen in order to eligible for SNAP. Noncitizens like tourists and students are generally not eligible. Individuals who are eligible based on their immigration status must also meet all other SNAP eligibility criteria.

    1. Unqualified noncitizens is a federal term referring to noncitizens who are undocumented and do not meet alien status requirements.
      1. The following people meet alien status requirements even though they are not qualified noncitizens:
        1. American Indians Born in Canada if they are Native Americans who are entitled to cross the U.S. border into Canada or Mexico, including tribal members from St. Regis Band of the Mohawk in N.Y. State, the Micmac in Maine, the Abanaki in Vermont and the Kickapoo in Texas.
        2. Hmong and Highland Laotians regardless of their date of entry, as long as they were a member, the spouse of or dependent child of the member, of the tribe that took part in a military or rescue operation during the Vietnam War era, beginning August 5, 1964, and ending May 7, 1975.
        3. Trafficking victims and certain family members of a trafficking victim continue to be eligible for SNAP and do not need to meet additional conditions after they adjust to LPR status.
      2. Unqualified noncitizens who are ineligible for SNAP:
        1. Noncitizens who are lawfully present in the US in a nonqualified status, such as students and H-1B Visa workers; and
        2. Undocumented noncitizens (e.g. individuals who entered the country as temporary residents and overstayed their visas or who entered without a visa); and
        3. Individuals granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are permitted to remain temporarily in the U.S. because their home nation is suffering under armed conflict, environmental disaster, or other extraordinary or temporary conditions; and
        4. Citizens of nations under Compact of Free Association Agreements (Palau, Micronesia, and the Marshall Islands) who have been admitted under those Agreements are not qualified aliens; and
        5. Most individuals present in the U.S. with a U visa. Individuals who are victims of criminal activity who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse because of the crime may be granted "U" nonimmigrant status.

      Alien Status Rule
      461-120-0125 — Alien Status

    2. Qualified noncitizen is a federal term referring to a pool of noncitizens who may be eligible for assistance. Specific program requirements vary, so not all qualified noncitizens meet alien status for all programs. The qualified noncitizens are separated into two groups:
      1. The first group is the AWARES group. Noncitizens in the AWARES group meet the alien status requirement for SNAP. Noncitizens in the AWARES group are as follows:

        A Amerasians; A person admitted as an Amerasian under section 584(a) of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act (FOEFRPAA) of 1988.

        W Deportation being withheld; A person whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of the INA.

        A Asylees; A person granted political asylum under section 208 of the INA.

        R Refugees; A refugee admitted under section 207 of the INA. (A person who is a victim of a severe form of trafficking is to be treated as a refugee under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2002.)

        E Cuban/Haitian entrants; A Cuban/Haitian who is either a public interest or humanitarian parolee.

        S Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants (SIV); Special immigrants status under §101(a)(27) of the INA may be granted to Iraqi and Afghan nationals who have worked on behalf of the U.S. government in Iraq or Afghanistan.  The Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 provides that SIVs are eligible for all benefits to the same extent and the same period of time as refugees.

      2. The second group is the BLP group. They are as follows:

        B Battered spouse and children; A noncitizen who has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the U.S. by a spouse or parent of the noncitizen, or by a member of the spouse or parent’s family residing in the same household as the noncitizen, if the spouse or parent consents to such battery or cruelty.

        L Lawful permanent resident.

        P Parolees under 212(d)(5), admitted for at least one year.

      3. Noncitizens in the BLP group must meet one of the following requirements in order to meet the alien status requirement and be eligible for SNAP:
        1. Have been a qualified noncitizen for five or more years.
        2. Meet the SNAP definition of disabled, or
        3. Be under age 18, or
        4. Be an LPR who has worked or can be credited with 40 quarters of work (NC-E), or
        5. Be a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces, honorably discharged (not on account of alien status) who fulfills minimum active-duty service requirement; a veteran who enlisted in the U.S. Armed Forces on or after 9/7/80 must serve a minimum of two years of active duty. There is no minimum service for those who enlisted before 9/7/80.
        6. Be on active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces.
        7. Is the spouse or dependent child of an individual in the veteran or active duty categories above.

  3. Calculating ineligible noncitizen income
  4. NOTE
     

    For filing groups containing migrant or seasonal farmworkers, including information on budgeting and other special circumstances, see SNAP I.



    1. Unqualified ineligible noncitizens are referred to as NC1. Qualified ineligible noncitizens are referred to as NC2. Noncitizens who are not qualified, such as foreign students, tourists, or people who are undocumented or who overstayed their visa or members who are unable or unwilling to provide the documentation about their immigration status are categorized as NC1. For these NC1s, a share of their income is excluded. The income is prorated, in order to exclude the noncitizen member's share.
    2. The total gross income before the NC1 proration is compared to the 185% FPL.

      Example: In a five-person filing group, there are two NC1s (NC1s are coded with a member type (MT)or IH or IA on FSMIS). One of NC1s earns $2,500 per month. The system divides the $2,500 by the number of persons in the financial group. $2,500 divided by 5 persons = $500 share per person. There are two NC1s, so their share is $500 X 2 = $1,000. The system then counts only the eligible members' share, so $2,500 - $1,000 (for the noncitizens) = $1,500 countable income.
    3. Noncitizens who are qualified yet ineligible are categorized as NC2s and have their income calculated differently. Examples of these noncitizens include Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) who do not have 40 qualifying quarters of work or have not been residing in the U.S. for more than five years. For cases with NC2s that have income and at least one eligible person in the filing group, there is a two-step process in calculating the benefits for their households. Use the interactive NC2 Two-Step Calculation (DHS 221F) on the forms server or the Noncitizen SNAP Benefit Calculator at https://apps.state.or.us/cf1/nc_calc/ to help you with these calculations.

      NC2 Calculation: Step One:

      1. Include the NC2 in the benefit group as if the person were eligible, i.e., code the person with an AD or HH, whichever is appropriate.

      2. Count all the income of the NC2 as well as the income of other household members whose income must be counted.

      3. Allow deductions for the expenses paid by the household, including the expenses paid by the NC2.

      4. Let the system do the calculation but do not update. Narrate the amount.

      NC2 Calculation: Step Two:

      1. Exclude the NC2 from the benefit group, i.e., code the person with an IA or IH, whichever is appropriate.

      2. Remove the income of the NC2.

      3. Count all the income of the eligible members.

      4. Count any income given directly by the NC2 to the eligible members in the household.

      5. Allow only the deductions paid by the eligible members.

      6. Let the system do the calculation. Compare the amount with Step One. If it is less, use this action to issue benefits to the household. If it is more, go back to Step One and issue benefits.
    4. For households with members of different alien statuses, such as one undocumented (NC1) and one NC2, the NC1's income is prorated while the NC2's income is calculated using the two-step process, as illustrated below.

      Combined NC1/NC2 Calculation; Step One:

      1. Include the NC2 in the benefit group as if the person were eligible, i.e., code the person with an AD or HH, whichever is appropriate.

      2. Code the NC1 with an IA or IH, whichever is appropriate.

      3. Prorate the income of the NC1 according to the number of ineligible (qualified and unqualified) members in the household. Add the income to the NC2's income and code the income according to its type. FSMIS cannot prorate income accurately in Step One.

      4. Allow the deductions paid by the eligible household members, including expenses paid by the NC2 and the prorated share of the NC1's costs, except their share of the utility allowance. Utility allowances are never prorated.

      5. Let the system do the calculation but do not update. Narrate the amount.

      Combined NC1/NC2 Calculation: Step Two:

      1. Code the NC1 and the NC2 with an IA or IH, whichever is appropriate.

      2. Remove the income of the NC2.

      3. Code the total countable income of the NC1 (do not prorate).

      4. Count any income given directly to the household by the NC2.

      5. Prorate the deductions (other than the utility allowance) for the NC1 according to the number of ineligible (qualified and unqualified) members in the household. Utility allowances are never prorated.

      6. Do not allow deductions for expenses paid by the NC2.

      7. Let the system do the calculation. Compare the amount with Step One. If it is less, use this action to issue benefits to the household. If it is more, go back to Step One and issue benefits.

      NOTE
       

      When one NC2 member in the household has income, treat all NC2 members the same in Steps One and Two.



    5. Prorate the TANF grant for all ineligible noncitizens (NC1 and NC2) regardless if they are in the TANF benefit group. The TANF grant is considered the entire family's income. If there is a TANF overpayment, all adults are liable. Since the computer system does not perform the necessary proration when the income is coded "GNT", the amount must be hand prorated. Workers also need to code the MNL household type, so that the automatic grant update run at the end of the month does not restore the GNT to the full amount.

      Example 1:

      In a four-person filing group, the parents are ineligible noncitizens for SNAP. However, the parents are included in the benefit group for TANF. They receive $617 (TANF grant) each month. The worker will divide the total amount by 4 for each person in the financial group. The amount is then multiplied by the number of eligible people in the group. The countable income to be coded GNT on FSMIS = $309 ($617 ÷ 4 x 2).

      Example 2:

      In a four-person filing group, the parents are ineligible noncitizens for both SNAP and TANF. They receive $320 (TANF), on behalf of their two eligible children in a household of four. The worker will divide the total amount by 4 for each person in the SNAP filing group. The amount is then multiplied by the number of people in the need group. The countable income to be coded GNT on FSMIS = $160 ($320 ÷ 4 x 2).

      Use of Income and Income Deductions When There Are Ineligible or Disqualified Group Members; SNAP Rule
      461-160-0140 — Use of Income and Income Deductions When There Are Ineligible or Disqualified Group Members; SNAP

      See the NC1/NC2 Calculation Cheat Sheet for a summary of these steps.

  5. Prorating ineligible noncitizen (NCI) deductions
    1. When the noncitizen is an unqualified ineligible noncitizen, their shelter, dependent care and court-ordered support deductions are prorated. These deductions should be prorated when the costs are either paid in full or in part by the ineligible noncitizen.
    2. If the shelter or dependent care bills are not being paid, prorate the cost if billed to the NCI.
    3. When the deductions are shared, prorate the ineligible noncitizen's portion only.
    4. The dependent care deduction is prorated by the computer system, when an IH or IA member type is used with the CCP deduction code.
    5. Other deductions must be hand-prorated, before being coded on FSMIS. The system cannot perform these prorations, because it does not have information about how the costs are billed or paid.
      1. For shelter, dependent care and court-ordered child support paid by an unqualified and ineligible noncitizen, divide the amount by the total people in the filing group, to get a share per person. Allow only the share for the people in the benefit group.
      2. Additionally, for dependent care and shelter deductions, if they are being paid but are just incurred, prorate them if a NCI’s income is paying them. If they are not being paid but are just incurred, prorate them if they are being billed to an ineligible member.

      Example: A three-person filing group consists of two citizens and one noncitizen who is not eligible for SNAP. The noncitizen pays the $300 per month rent and heating costs for the household. $300 divided by 3 people = $100 share per person. One person is ineligible, so subtract $100 from the $300 and allow the remaining $200 as a shelter deduction for the eligible members. The FUA is allowed as the utility cost. For the same example, if a citizen and the noncitizen were pooling their money to pay the costs, you would prorate only the noncitizen's share. With pooled funds, assume each person pays $150 of the rent. Allow the $150 paid by the citizen. Prorate the NC1's share ($150 ÷ 3 in the filing group = $50 x 2 in the benefit group = $100) for a total Shel deduction of $250. Because utilities are not prorated, allow the FUA.

      Use of Income and Income Deductions When There Are Ineligible or Disqualified Group Members; SNAP Rule
      461-160-0140 — Use of Income and Income Deductions When There Are Ineligible or Disqualified Group Members; SNAP

      See the NC1/NC2 Calculation Cheat Sheet for a summary of these steps.

  6. Sponsored noncitizens
  7. The income of the sponsors of some noncitizens is counted as income to the noncitizen's household, regardless of actual availability, when determining the eligibility and calculating benefits for the household. This is called deeming. However, there are some situations when the deeming requirement will not apply. See Noncitizens A.8 (NC-A.8) for more information.

  8. Deeming income
    1. Prior to deeming income for SNAP, review the exceptions in NC-A.8. Deeming also does not apply to noncitizens who are under age 18. For sponsored noncitizens age 18 and over, if deeming applies, deem the earned and unearned income of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse as follows::

      1. Allow a 20 percent deduction from the earned income of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse. For self-employment with cost, allow 50 percent off their gross income first.

      2. Add the earned income after the deduction to the unearned income of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse.

      3. Deduct from the total earned and unearned income of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse the countable income limit for a household equal in size to the sponsor's household. Include any person who is a dependent or who receives support from the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse in the sponsor's household.

      4. Prorate the income by total of the sponsor's: noncitizens currently being sponsored, household members who receive support from the sponsor and dependents.

      5. The final amount is the income to be counted as the income of the sponsored noncitizen.

    When to Deem the Assets of a Sponsor of a Noncitizen Rule
    461-145-0830 — When to Deem the Assets of a Sponsor of a Noncitizen

  9. Deeming resources
  10. If deeming applies and the household is not categorically eligible, deem all but $1,500 of the countable resources of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse to the sponsored noncitizen. Deeming does not apply to noncitizens who are under age 18.

    Deemed Assets; Overview Rule
    461-145-0810 — Deemed Assets; Overview

    Deemed Assets; Noncitizen's Sponsor Rule
    461-145-0820 — Deemed Assets; Noncitizen's Sponsor

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