If you are NOT a U.S. Citizen you may be eligible to receive Supplementary Security Income (SSI). However, you must meet the requirements of the laws regulating noncitizens that went into effect on August 22, 1996 as well as meeting all of the other requirements for SSI eligibility, such as the limits on income and resources.

In general, beginning August 22, 1996, most non-citizens must meet two requirements to potentially be eligible for SSI.  They must

  • Be in a qualified alien category and
  • Meet a condition that allows qualified aliens to get SSI

There are eight categories of qualified aliens. The categories are:

  • Lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (LAPR), including certain Amerasian immigrants
  • Conditional entrants under the law in effect before April 1,1980
  • Paroled into the United States for certain reasons for a period of one year or more;
  • Refugee
  • Granted asylum
  • Deportation or removal is being withheld for certain reasons
  • Cuban and Haitian entrant as defined in the Refugee Education and Assistance Act of 1980
  • Certain aliens subjected to battery or extreme cruelty or whose child or parent has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty

If you are a qualified alien, you are potentially eligible for SSI if you meet one of the following conditions:

  • You were receiving SSI on August 22, 1996 and are lawfully residing in the U.S.
  • You are lawfully admitted for permanent residence and have 40 qualifying quarters of work. Work done by a spouse or parent may be counted toward the 40 quarters of work
  • You were lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996 and are blind or disabled
  • You filed for SSI within seven years of being granted status as a refugee, asylee, Cuban and Haitian entrant, Amerasian Immigrant, or deportation or removal is being withheld
  • You are an active duty member of the U.S. armed forces, and honorably discharged

Please note that if you entered the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996, you may not be eligible for SSI for the first five years even if you have 40 qualifying quarters of earnings.

If you are a current or former SSI recipient subject to SSI eligibility, under the seven-year time limit, you may expedite processing of your pending naturalization or adjustment of status application. You may also waive fees for the cost associated with filing your application.

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