Citizenship and Alien Status

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements for all Programs

Definitions

Revised June 27, 2016

Purpose:

This section provides basic definitions of various citizen and immigrant statuses relevant for determining eligibility for federal and state programs.

WAC 388-424-0001 Citizenship and alien status - Definitions

  • Clarifying Information


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0001

Eligibility for all programs must determine an individual's citizenship or alien status. An individual will fall into one of the following four groups for purposes of benefits eligibility:

  • Citizen or U.S. National;
  • Lawfully Present Qualified Aliens;
  • Lawfully Present Non-Qualified Aliens; or
  • Undocumented Aliens.
NOTE:
 
Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. DACA individuals are non-qualified aliens who have been granted deferred action, but unlike other deferred action individuals, they are not eligible for Medicaid or CHIP. DACA individuals may be eligible for state-funded assistance, including MCS, SFA, and FAP. DACA individuals must be coded CL in the INS Stat field on the ALAS screen in ACES.

Consult the "Decision Trees" in Appendix I for an overview of citizenship and alien status eligibility rules. For a list of typical citizenship/immigration documents and some sample documents, see the National Immigration Law Center NILC Guide in Appendix II.

For guidance on how to read a Visa, I-94 or Permanent Resident Card select the appropriate link.

NOTE: 
If uncertain as to the individuals eligibility for benefits do not deny or approve without review of the NILC guide or if needed clarification please contact appropriate program staff below.

For cash or food eligibility:

For medical eligibility:

Contact your HCA Area Representative at https://www.hca.wa.gov/assets/free-or-low-cost/area_representatives.pdf

 

  1. Child Citizenship Act of 2000. To acquire citizenship under the Act, persons must have met all the conditions in WAC 388-424-0001 on or after February 27, 2001. The Act applies to children related to the citizen parent by birth or adoption only - stepchildren are not included unless also adopted. Once the terms of the Act have been met, subsequent changes in the parents' marital status, such a separation or divorce, have no bearing on the child's citizenship. Nor does it matter whether the parent in question was a U.S. citizen at the time the child entered the U.S.
    If the child is 18 years or older when the parent becomes a citizen, child citizenship laws do not apply and he/she must independently apply for naturalization. For information on the Department's naturalization assistance program, see the Social Services Manual, SSI Facilitation Chapter, Section E, subsection on SSI facilitation.
    For persons who automatically become citizens under terms of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 or previous legislation, USCIS issues no documentation unless requested. Clients themselves may not be aware that they or their children are already citizens. If there is uncertainty about whether a particular client has met the conditions for automatic citizenship, you might want to refer them to an immigration attorney or the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Western Washington at 206-587-4009 or in Eastern Washington at 509-854-2100.
  2. Born Abroad/Acquisition of Citizenship. It is possible that a child or grandchild of a U.S. citizen who was born abroad may have acquired citizenship at birth. In such cases, citizenship may depend on which parent is a U.S. citizen, how long the citizen parent resided in the U.S., and whether the parents were married at the time. A person that might belong to this category should be referred to an immigration attorney for advice.
  3. American Indians. The term "American Indian" refers to tribes throughout North America, including Canadian tribes. American Indians born outside the United States are eligible for federal benefits to the same extent as U.S. Citizens if they are:
  • Canadian-born American Indians who are at least 50 percent American Indian blood. This category does not include the spouse or child of such a person unless he or she also possesses 50 percent American Indian blood (request tribal verification that verifies 50% American Indian blood).
  • Canadian-born American Indians who are less then 50 percent American Indian blood who have been continuously residing in the U.S. since prior to December 24, 1952.
  • A member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe (see Governor's Office of Indian Affairs website) or Alaska Native villages and corporations (see Federal Register Notice).

Non-citizen cross-border Indians who do not meet the criteria above are considered undocumented unless they have another immigration status with USCIS.

NOTE:
 Non-citizen American Indians have the same eligibility for benefits as U.S. Citizens, but citizen documentation requirements do not apply.  they will need to supply tribal verification they meet the requirements above.

4. Lawfully present alien" - Refers to any non-citizen presently permitted to remain in the United States. "Lawfully present" means that USCIS has actively granted these immigrants permission to remain in the U.S. and has issued documentation that is currently valid as to their status. A lawfully present alien must still meet state residency requirements in WAC 388-468-0005 to qualify for benefits.

5. "Qualified alien" and "Non-qualified alien" are terms used in federal immigration law and do not by themselves indicate whether an immigrant is eligible for benefits. "Qualified", "non-qualified" and undocumented aliens may be eligible for some benefits.

6. Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe members:

  • They may be eligible for federal benefits based on the individual's qualified alien status. For example, after tribe members are admitted as refugees.
  • If not eligible under a qualified alien status, they must be lawfully present in the U.S. and must sign the following statement under penalty of perjury to be eligible for federal benefits: I was a Hmong (or Highland Laotian) tribe member when the tribe assisted the U.S. military during Vietnam era (August 5,1964 to May 7, 1975). See Appendix III for a printable version of this statement.
  • The tribe member must be born prior to May 8, 1975. The tribe member's spouse and unmarried dependent children do not have to be tribal members in order to qualify for federal benefits.

7. The following lawfully present non-qualified aliens may be eligible for State funded assistance:

  • Abused aliens who are a relative of a U.S. citizen with an approved I-130 petition but not meeting the other requirements of battered immigrants, as described in WAC 388-424-0001. Abused aliens who have self-petitioned under VAWA but not yet received "Notice of "Prima Facie" eligibility, as described in   .
  • Applicants for adjustment of status, asylum, cancellation of removal, suspension of deportation or withholding of deportation or removal.
  • Cancellation of removal, deferred action or suspension of deportation granted. (Note: if a person is granted cancellation of removal or suspension of deportation based on having been abused or granted deferred action based on an approved self-petition as an abused alien, they are a "qualified alien").
  • Deferred enforced departure granted.
  • Family Unity granted.
  • "K", "S", "U" or "V" statuses, designated on a person's visa, allow holders to work and eventually to adjust to Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) status.
  • Lawful temporary residents under the amnesty program of the Immigration Reform and control Act (IRCA), including those admitted under Sections 210 ("special agricultural workers") and 245A of the INA.
  • Citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau. These individuals have special rights under Compacts of Free Association and are lawfully allowed to enter, reside and work in the U.S. but are not U.S. Nationals.
  • Order of Supervision granted.
  • Paroled into the U.S. for a period of one year or less.
  • Residing in the U.S since prior to January 1, 1972.
  • Eligible to petition as special immigrant juveniles. these are juveniles who have been declared a "dependent of the state" and eligible for long-term foster care due to abuse, neglect or abandonment.
  • Stay of deportation or removal granted.
  • Temporary protected status granted.
  • Voluntary departure granted - definite or indefinite time.

8. Expired Documents versus Expired Status.

  • Many immigrant documents have expiration dates. Some immigrants lose their immigrant status when their immigrant document expires; however, many do not.
  • Qualified Aliens: Qualified alien status does not expire even if the document is expired, with the following exceptions:
  1. Parolees - Their status expires after the expiration date. Parolees usually have an I-94 arrival/departure record stamped with an entry and expiration date. Some may have their expiration date stamped "waived" or "indefinite".
  2. Lawful Permanent Resident with Conditions (2 year Conditional Residents) - Conditional residents receive a 2 year LPR card based on a recent marriage to a U.S. citizen. At the end of the 2 years, they must either file a joint petition to remove the condition or a request for a waiver of the joint filing requirement (for grounds that include divorce and /or domestic violence). Clients with this expired status need to be asked for proof of a pending petition to remove the condition or copy of application to waive the joint filing requirement.
NOTE:
 Battered immigrants may face difficulties in filing to remove the condition on residence.  You may want to refer such clients to an immigration attorney or Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Western Washington at 206-587-4009 or Eastern Washington at 509-854-2100.

 

  • Non-Qualified Aliens: Some lawfully present non-qualified aliens have temporary status or pending applications and consequently their status may expire when their document is expired or when a final denial of their application is issued, with the following exceptions:
    1. Citizens of Marshall Islands, Micronesia or Palau - They may have a birth certificate, current or expired I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, current/expired passport, or other document verifying they are citizens of one of these countries.
    2. Persons granted cancellation of removal or suspension of deportation.
  • Additional Information Regarding Specific Document Types and Status: 1. I-797
    1. Notice of Action may or may not have an expiration date. It is used to notify the client that a fee was paid, an application was accepted, the case is pending, a step in the process is completed, or status is approved. Immigrants with I-797s are undocumented unless it verifies that status has been approved.
      • An example that a step in the process has been completed but status has not been approved is the Notice of Approval for "Immigrant Petition for Relative". This is the initial step in the family -related immigrant application process. It solely establishes relationship. It does not establish status. If this is the only document provided, the immigrant is considered undocumented for purposes of benefits eligibility.
      • An example that status is approved is the "Approval Notice" of an I-360 Self-Petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). In most cases a VAWA self-petitioner will first receive a "Prima Facie" notice, indicating that the petitioner has submitted evidence sufficient to establish a case. Both notices verify that the client is a "Qualified Alien" and their status does not expire.
    2. Order from Immigration Judge - An order is issued because the immigrant is or has been in removal proceedings. The Judge provides a decision notifying the immigrant whether the immigrant can remain in the country. The order does not have an expiration date.
      • An example of a status granted by an "Order from Immigration Judge" are "Granted withholding of deportation" which is a "Qualified Alien" category and "Order of Supervision" which is a non-qualified alien category.
    3. Form I-589 - Applicant for Asylum (non-qualified alien) does not have an expiration date, however, USCIS is required to provide a decision within 180 days. Despite this requirement, some asylum applicants may not receive a decision within the 180 day deadline. If the document is more than 180 days old staff will need to check USCIS website (see below) to determine if it is still pending a decision. If still pending a decision, the asylum applicant retains their non-qualified status.
NOTE: 
If an applicant for Asylum is a national of Cuba or Haiti they are Cuban/Haitian Entrants eligible for benefits to the same extent as refugees while their application is pending.

 

  • In cases with expired immigration documents, direct clients to apply with USCIS for renewal with instructions to submit the new USCIS form I-912 "Request for Fee Waiver", at the same time they apply for the new documents. As public benefit's recipients, DSHS clients are eligible for Fee Waiver with their application.
    • Form I-912, "Request for Fee Waiver", and instructions on how to complete this form, are now available on he USCIS website at USCIS - FORMS. Fee Waiver Guidance can be found at USCIS - Fee Waiver Guidance.
  • If USCIS denies the fee waiver request, they will notify the client with a notice of rejection and an explanation why the fee waiver request was denied. In these cases, copy the notice of rejection into the client's file and offer help paying for the documents. If USCIS approves the fee waiver request, the client will also be notified.
  • Staff can check the current case status of pending USCIS documents by entering the receipt number on the document at https://www.uscis.gov/.
NOTE: 
If unable to verify claim is still pending using the USCIS website the client will need to provide updated documentation from USCIS as to their current status.  You may want to refer the client to an immigration attorney or Northwest Immigration Rights Project in Western Washington at 206-587-4009 or Eastern Washington at 509-854-2100.
  • All non-qualified aliens with expired documents or no current claim or document pending with USCIS, would be considered undocumented for purposes of benefits eligibility.

9. Reporting or release of information regarding immigrants.

  • Release of information about immigrant clients is subject to he same confidentiality rules that govern release of all client information to outside parties, including law enforcement agencies such as USCIS.
  • The department is only obligated to report legal immigrants in the case of the "indigence exemption" from sponsor deeming. See WAC 388-450-0156 for a description of this reporting requirement.
  • The department's obligation to report the presence of undocumented immigrants to USCIS has been very narrowly defined by the federal government. Such a report is only to be made in the following circumstances:
    1. An administrative law judge (ALJ) has determined that an individual is unlawfully present in the U.S., in the course of the individual's pursuing eligibility for federally funded benefit (including TANF, non-emergency Medicaid, CHIP, SSI and federal Basic Food); and
    2. The ALJ's finding is supported by a determination by USCIS, such as a Final Order or Deportation.
  • The department is only expected to make a determination about an individual's legal or illegal immigration status if such determination is necessary to decide whether the individual is eligible for benefits. Undocumented immigrants should never be required to contact USCIS themselves.
  • If you believe a report to USCIS is required, based on all the above circumstances, contact the appropriate immigrant eligibility program manager. Do not contact USCIS directly.

10. When requesting information necessary to determine citizenship or alien status, be sensitive to the right of clients not to be discriminated against on the basis of race, color or national origin. All similarly situated clients should be treated in the same manner. For example, while it is necessary to clarify questionable information to establish eligibility, clients should not be singled out for closer scrutiny simply because they look or sound "foreign."


ACES Procedures

Recording Citizenship / Alien Status

Completion of the (ALAS) Screen for Non-Citizens

Decision Trees

Revised April 18, 2013

Purpose:

Appendix I - Citizenship and Alien Status Decision Tree: Basic Food

Cash/Medical Programs Based on Citizenship/Alien Status

Date of Entry

Revised April 16, 2019

Purpose: 

This section explains how to determine an alien’s “date of entry” into the United States. It describes which groups of aliens are subject to the five-year bar on receipt of federal means-tested benefits. Finally, it describes how to determine the date on which the five-year bar begins.

WAC 388-424-0006 Citizenship and alien status - Date of Entry


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0006 

  1. Determining whether a person has entered the U.S. before August 22, 1996.
    For the majority of aliens the date they entered the U.S. and became a “qualified alien” is on their I-94 card or Customs and Border Protection (CBP) stamp in their passport, on a Refugee Transportation Letter as a “Date of Entry”, and on their Permanent Resident card as a “Resident Since” date.

A person is not subject to the five-year bar for TANF, or medical assistance if they entered the U.S. before August 22, 1996, even if they did not obtain a “qualified” immigration status until sometime after they entered. As long as the alien “continuously resided” in the U.S. from the earlier date, that date is considered the “date of entry”. “Continuously resided” means the alien only left the U.S. for short periods of time.

However, an applicant for federal Basic Food (SNAP) benefits, who became “qualified” on or after August 22, 1996, and who requires 5 years of residency for eligibility, can’t count time spent in the U.S. before they became a “qualified alien” toward the five-year bar requirement.

EXAMPLE: Alex came to the U.S. in 1992 as a visitor for six months. He came again in 1994 for 1 year as a student and then returned to his country of origin in 1995. Alex came to the U.S. again after he obtained lawful permanent resident status on October 10, 2001. Alex didn’t continuously reside in the U.S. prior to August 22, 1996. His date of entry is October 10, 2001. He isn’t a veteran or on active duty in the U.S. military (or the spouse or dependent child of such a person). Alex is barred from TANF, Basic Food, and non-emergency Medicaid for five years until September 30, 2006.
  1. Aliens who have the five-year bar.

    All aliens, who are lawfully present in the U.S. and aren’t included in the statuses named in WAC 388-424-0006, Citizenship and alien status—Date of entry have a five-year bar on receipt of Basic Food, TANF, and non-emergency Medicaid.

  2. How to determine the date a Victim of Trafficking becomes a qualified alien.

    A victim of human trafficking becomes a “qualified alien” on the certification date stated on a Certification Letter for adults, or a Letter of Eligibility for minors from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The “certification date” on the Letter is also the benefits eligibility date.

EXAMPLE: Elena came to the U.S. in January 2007 on H1B visa as a temporary employee of an IT firm in NY. Instead, she was forced to work in a sweatshop. After 2 years, Elena received assistance from local legal and volunteer agencies. In 2010 Elena was granted a Victim of Trafficking status and received a Certification Letter from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The “certification date” on the letter was June 15, 2010. This is the date Elena became a qualified alien and met immigration status requirements for federally funded assistance.
  1. How to determine the date an asylee becomes a qualified alien.

    The date an asylee becomes a “qualified alien” is the date -

    • Stated on an Asylum Approval Letter, from a USCIS Asylum Office, as the date asylum was granted under §208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);

    • Immigration Judge decided to grant asylum under §208 of the INA, if  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has NOT appealed the decision;
EXAMPLE: Maggie came to the U.S. in 2006 as a student. She applied for asylum with USCIS on September 1, 2008, and 11 months later received a USCIS decision granting  her asylum. A USCIS letter stated her asylum approval date was August 26, 2009. On this date Maggie became a qualified alien and met immigration status eligibility requirement for federally funded assistance.

 

  1. How to determine the date a battered immigrant becomes a “qualified alien."
    The date a battered alien becomes “qualified” is the date of the approval (or notice of prima facie case) of a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petition or the date that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse petitioned for the family visa application. These dates aren’t the same as the date the alien was granted lawful permanent residence and aren’t the date on the Permanent Resident card.

EXAMPLE: Rosa Maria came to the U.S. in 2017 as a student. She married a lawful permanent resident, who received notice of his family visa petition on March 1, 2018. She became a victim of domestic violence and is no longer lives with her abuser husband. She hasn’t yet adjusted to lawful permanent residence and doesn’t have her green card. The date she became "qualified" is March 1, 2017 because that’s the date of the family visa petition. Her five-year bar will be over on February 28, 2022. (When she has her adjustment interview on June 1, 2022, her green card, or Resident Alien Card USCIS form I-551, will have that date as a Resident Since date.)

 

  1. Aliens who are exempt from the five-year bar.

    Aliens exempt from the five-year bar due to immigration status are listed in WAC 388-424-0006, Citizenship and alien status—Date of entry. Aliens with a status of refugee, asylee, withholding of deportation/removal, Cuban/Haitian entrant, Special Immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan, and Amerasian remain exempt after they’ve adjusted to lawful permanent resident status. The “category” or “class” code on their Permanent Resident Alien (“green”) card identifies under which provision of law they came into the U.S.  For more information on immigration documentation, status codes, benefit eligibility and step-by-step process, please see immigration desk aids located on the CSD website.

EXAMPLE: Lai came to the U.S. as a refugee on September 1, 1999. One year later she adjusted to lawful permanent residence status. Her Permanent Resident card shows her date of entry as September 1, 1999 and has the category code “RE-6”, for “refugee” (see page 70 in the NILC Guide in Appendix II). Lai is not subject to the five-year bar, even though she is currently a lawful permanent resident.

If you have questions please contact Olga Walker at (360) 725-4641 or by e-mail at walkeop@dshs.wa.gov or Jared Beard at (360) 725-4617 or by e-mail at BeardJT@dshs.wa.gov

If you have questions regarding eligibility, or how to process a medical only case, please contact Dody McAlpine in the HCA Office of Medicaid, Medicare Eligibility & Policy at (360) 725-9964 or by e-mail at dody.mcalpine@hca.wa.gov 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0006 

  1. Always ask the client for their INS Number, also known as Alien Number, or Alien Registration number, or USCIS # number. It’s a unique number assigned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to each alien admitted to the United States, or who came into contact with the agency (Example: application for asylum). It’s usually begins with an “A” followed by seven, eight or nine digits number and it is listed on all documents and/or DHS correspondence. Enter the INS Number and Date of Entry in corresponding 3G fields.

See the VERIFICATION chapter for further guidance.

For more information about verifying an asylee’s entry date, see “Asylum Documentation” under WAC 388-466-0005, Clarifying Information.

Social Security Number Requirements

Revised August 21, 2015

Purpose: 

The purpose of this section is to explain the special situations that affect immigrants when there are requirements for a Social Security number (SSN) in federal and state benefit programs.

WAC 388-424-0009 Citizenship and alien status - Social Security Number (SSN) Requirements

The rules and information below supplement information provided in the SSN Chapter (WAC 388-476-0005 ).


Clarifying Information -  WAC 388-424-0009

  1. Some immigrants who are "qualified" and some who are "non-qualified" (see WAC 388-424-0001 ) are not immediately eligible for employment authorization and therefore may not be issued an SSN:
    1. For example, most political asylum applicants who have a notice that their political asylum application has been received and is being processed must wait six months or longer before they can apply to work in the U.S.
    2. Abused immigrants whose spouse has filled out an I-130 or who have a Notice of Prima Facie eligibility may sometimes have to wait for months or years before they are authorized to work legally.
  2. Some immigrants who do not have work authorization can sometimes get a non-work SSN (see Worker Responsibilities #1 below), but staff in most Social Security Administration (SSA) offices will deny these applications.
  3. Abused immigrants who are filing a petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) will often receive a Notice of Prima Facie eligibility that does not specifically list their children, even though the children are listed in the original application. Children of abused immigrants are considered eligible for benefits to the same extent as the primary applicant, even though they will often be unable to get a non-work SSN.
  4. SSA staff are not familiar with many immigration documents that are used to show “qualified alien” status (such as the Notice of Prima Facie eligibility under VAWA) and will often not accept these documents as proof of lawful status (see Table 5, page 62 in the NILC Guide in Appendix II for a list of documents). In addition, new SSA requirements that immigrants have evidence of date of birth and identity may prevent many immigrants who have lost their documents (often as a result of fleeing persecution or escaping domestic violence) from getting a non-work number.
  5. Sometimes a client may choose not to provide an SSN (and consequently be excluded from the AU) but the Department inadvertently learns of their SSN (for example, through a pay stub the client provides to verify income). In such cases we continue to honor the individual client’s wish to be excluded from the assistance unit.
    Alternatively, a client may choose not to provide an SSN midway through the process of applying for benefits, or at a recertification, even if they have already provided it. The guiding principle is that we will honor client choice. A client may choose to be excluded from the assistance unit by not providing an SSN at any point.
    However, we may still use a valid SSN in our possession for verifying income and resources. Staff should explain to the immigrant that the SSN will only be used to verify income and resource information and will not be released to federal immigration authorities. Sometimes, a client may not have a valid SSN but is attempting to provide evidence of income or resources to comply with Department requirements – he or she should be allowed to remove the SSN from these documents and should not be discouraged from providing proof of income.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0009

  1. If the client is applying for a federal program which requires an SSN and a current and valid SSN is not available, the Department is responsible for providing the client with assistance in applying for an SSN. (If the client needs financial assistance to complete this process, the Department will assist as well - follow procedures in the Verification Chapter, Worker Responsibilities #9)
  2. If the client has already tried to apply at the local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and has been denied, the Department should issue benefits (if the client is otherwise eligible) and, if the customer requests our assistance, take the following steps:
    1. Draft a letter on Department letterhead which specifies the names of all family members applying for benefits and requests that the SSA issue a non-work SSN for each. The letter must explain that the SSNs are being requested so that the clients can participate in the federal programs for which they are eligible. List all programs which apply. See Appendix VI for link to a sample SSN request letter.   
    2. If a client is unable to get either a regular or non-work SSN, request an Exception to Rule (ETR) and continue benefits until client is work-authorized. Also ask the client to re-apply for an SSN once she is eligible for and has received an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from USCIS.
    3. If the client is able to get a non-work SSN, document the number in ACES and remind the client that this SSN cannot be used to work.
  3. Some persons in a household may not be a part of the assistance unit (AU) which is applying for assistance (for example, undocumented parents of citizen children). In such a case, SSNs for those non-AU members are not a requirement for processing the application of the applying AU.

Veteran Status

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-424-0007 Citizenship and alien status - Armed Services or Veteran Status

  • Clarifying Information and Worker Responsibilities


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0007

A veteran is a person who served in the active military, naval, or air service of the U.S., who fulfilled the minimum active duty service requirements or 24 months of continuous active service, whichever is less, and was honorably discharged or released. Veterans also include men and women who died while on active duty in the U.S. armed forces or forces under U.S. command. For purposes of determining a surviving spouse or dependent child's eligibility for benefits, a person who died after being released from active duty in the U.S. armed forces is also a veteran.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0007

Obtain evidence of armed services or veteran status. For those veterans who are Hmong or Highland Lao who fought with the U.S. in Southeast Asia, have the veteran or family member sign the statement in Appendix III

Citizenship and Alien Status - Work Quarters

Revised March 25, 2011

Purpose:

WAC 388-424-0008 Citizenship and alien status - Work Quarters


APPENDIX IV

Earnings Required for Work Quarters for Recent Years

This chart shows the amount of earnings needed to qualify for each SSA work quarter of coverage for 1978 through 2011.

 

Calendar Year

Amount Needed for a Quarter of Coverage

Amount Needed to Qualify for Four Quarters

1978

$250

$1000

1979

$260

$1040

1980

$290

$1160

1981

$310

$1240

1982

$340

$1360

1983

$370

$1480

1984

$390

$1560

1985

$410

$1640

1986

$440

$1760

1987

$460

$1840

1988

$470

$1880

1989

$500

$2000

1990

$520

$2080

1991

$540

$2160

1992

$570

$2280

1993

$590

$2360

1994

$620

$2480

1995

$630

$2520

1996

$640

$2560

1997

$670

$2680

1998

$700

$2800

1999

$740

$2960

2000

$780

$3120

2001

$830

$3320

2002

$870

$3480

2003

$890

$3560

2004

$900

$3600

2005

$920

$3680

2006

$970

$3880

2007

$1000

$4000

2008

$1050

$4200

2009

$1090

$4360

2010

$1120

$4480

2011

$1120

$4480

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirements Specific to Program

Citizenship and Alien Status - For Food Benefits

Revised July 10, 2015

Purpose: 

This section describes which immigrants are eligible for benefits through federally-funded Basic Food and state-funded Food Assistance Program.

WAC 388-424-0020 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for federally-funded Basic Food benefits?

WAC 388-424-0030 How does my alien status impact my eligibility for state-funded benefits under the food assistance program?


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0030

If a client does not provide proof of the alien status of someone in the assistance unit (AU), the client can withdraw the application or apply for Basic Food without that person. That person is an ineligible AU member under WAC 388-408-0035. Please refer to the VERIFICATION chapter for general rules regarding documentation.

We must deem income to a sponsored immigrant who is not exempt from deeming requirements under WAC 388-450-0156. This includes a sponsored immigrant who is eligible for federal benefits based on being a qualified alien who has lived in the U. S. for five years, if they do not have 40 qualifying quarters of work or qualify for a different exemption.

  1. Proof of alien status:
  2. Income of immigrants and their sponsors:
    • See WAC 388-450-0140  for treatment of income of AU members who are ineligible to receive federally funded Basic Food due to alien status.
    • See WAC 388-450-0160  for treatment of income of a sponsored alien's sponsor.
  3. Deeming requirements for sponsored immigrants: 
    NOTE: An immigrant who is an ineligible member of a federally-funded Basic Food AU should not have his sponsor's income and resources deemed to eligible AU members.
​NOTE: We must deem resources in addition to income when the AU is not Categorically Eligible (CE) as defined inWAC 388-414-0001. See WAC 388-470-0070  for deeming sponsor resources.

4. ​​When a “qualified alien” child turns 18 before being in the U.S. for five years: 

  • If the immigrant turns age 18 before they have been in the U.S. for five years, they must meet one of the other requirements under WAC 388-424-0020  to keep getting Basic Food benefits.
  • The immigrant regains eligibility for benefits after they have been in the U.S. for five years or meet one of the other criteria under WAC 388-424-0020.

5. ​"Lawfully residing"

  • A qualified alien;
  • An alien who has been inspected and admitted and who has not violated the terms of that admission;
  • A parolee (for less than 1 year), except those paroled pending a determination of excludability or for prosecution;
  • A Lawful Temporary Resident;
  • A person under Temporary Protected Status;
  • A Cuban-Haitian entrant;
  • A Family Unity beneficiary:
  • A person granted Deferred Enforced Departure;
  • A person in Deferred Action;
  • An alien who is the spouse or child of a U. S. citizen, whose visa petition has been approved and who has a pending application for adjustment of status;
  • An applicant for asylum or for withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture, who has been granted employment authorization or who is under the age of 14 and has had an application pending for at least 180 days.

6.  Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants (SIVs): For more information on documentation, Immigration Status codes, benefit eligibility and step-by-step process, please see desk aid Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrants Benefits

7.  Haitian Entrants vs. Haitian Nationals Granted Temporary Protected Status:

  • Haitian Entrants granted status under section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 are qualified aliens and eligible for Basic Food benefits if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Haitian Family Reunification Parole (HFRP) Program Entrants granted status under section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 are qualified aliens and eligible for Basic Food benefits if they meet all other eligibility requirements.
  • Haitian Nationals Granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are not eligible for federal SNAP benefits.  These persons are PRUCOL as described under WAC 388-424-0001 and cannot receive Basic Food.

 

Citizenship and Alien Status - For Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

Revised April 16, 2019

Purpose: 

This section provides information on how a person’s immigration status affects their eligibility for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

WAC 388-424-0010 Citizenship and alien status - Eligibility for TANF


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0010

  1. Provide clients who are Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) with information about naturalization assistance services offered by local community agencies through the DSHS Office of Refugee and Immigrant Assistance.  See the Social Services Manual, SSI Facilitation - Facilitation Process - SSI Facilitation Process for more information on the Department’s naturalization assistance program.

  2. Take a client’s declaration of U.S. citizenship at face value.  Don’t routinely request proof of citizenship unless there is a specific and substantive reason to, such as an inconsistency in a client's statements or in the information presented on their application for benefits.

  3. Consider immigrants, who are not eligible for federal TANF because of the five-year bar on federal benefits, for the state funded benefits programs. 

  1. The following non-qualified aliens are lawfully present and aren’t eligible for TANF, but could be eligible for state funded benefits, if they meet all other eligibility criteria:

    • Pending applicants for Asylum, or Withholding of Deportation/Removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) if :

      • Over age 14 with an approved work authorization or
      • Under 14 and their application has been pending for 180 days or more;
  • Aliens granted withholding of removal under the Convention Against Torture (CAT);

  • Aliens paroled into the U.S. for less than 1 year;

  • Aliens in current Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Aliens granted deferred action status, with the exception of Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA);

  • Family Unity beneficiaries;

  • A child who has a pending application for Special Immigrant Juvenile status;

  • Citizens of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau.  These persons have special rights under compacts of Free Association and are lawfully allowed to enter, reside and work in the U.S., but they aren’t U.S. citizens or nationals.  They are lawfully present non-qualified aliens unless they have some other immigration status.

  • "U" visa holders;

  • Religious workers under section 101(a)(15)(R) of the INA;

  • An individual with a petition pending for 3 years or more, as permitted under section 101(a)(15)(V) of the INA;

  • A fiancé of a citizen, as permitted under section 101(a)(15)(K) of the INA;

  • Other aliens with a current nonimmigrant status

EXAMPLE A client applying for benefits has an I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) stamp with a "B2" code that is not expired.  According to the NILC Guide, "B2" signifies tourist status.  A person with a tourist status is a lawfully present nonimmigrant and, if otherwise eligible may qualify for benefits. However, an alien with B2 visa is in the U.S. only temporary and doesn’t meet Washington state residency requirements,

EXAMPLE A five-person family applies for benefits.  The father has a Lawful Permanent Resident card (I-551), but the mother and three children only have Employment Authorization Documents (EADs).  All four EADs are coded "A15".  According to the NILC Guide, the "A-15" code indicates "V" status.  These are spouses and children of lawful permanent residents whose visa petitions have been pending for at least three years.  Immigrants with "V" status are lawfully present non-qualified aliens.  These immigrants may qualify for state benefits.  The father may be eligible for federal benefits depending on other factors such as date of entry into the U.S.

EXAMPLE A mother and child applied for benefits. The mother has a valid I-94 Arrival/Departure form stamped with a "U" visa.  The child would likely have been included as a dependent on the mother's U visa application.  Both mother and child are considered "lawfully residing" and may be eligible for state benefits.

 

  1. Immigrant children and pregnant women, who are:

    • lawfully present non-qualified aliens, as defined in WAC 388-424-0001; and

    • meet residency requirements of WAC 388-468-0005

      are eligible for federally funded medical benefits, unless they are approved under Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA). 

  2. Staff should check eligibility for State Family Assistance (SFA) and Food Assistance Program (FAP), when an applicant is a Deferred Action Childhood Arrivals (DACA) individual.

NOTE: An Employment Authorization Document (EAD, USCIS form I-765), known popularly as a work permit, is a document issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and it gives noncitizens a temporary authorization to work. EAD doesn’t confer immigration status, but for eligibility determination purposes, it indicates the client's current immigration status. 

Aliens with a variety of statuses may be issued an EAD.  Unless other current immigration document(s) are provided, an expired EAD means a person's immigration status has expired.  

For more information about I-765 EAD Category Codes please see Employment Authorization Document, Category Codes

 

If you have questions please contact Olga Walker at (360) 725-4641 or by e-mail at olga.walker@dshs.wa.gov or Jared Beard at (360) 725-4617 or by e-mail at BeardJT@dshs.wa.gov

 

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0010

  1. Always ask client for an INS Number, also known as Alien Number, or Alien Registration number, or USCIS Number #. It usually begins with an “A” followed by a seven, eight, or nine digit unique number assigned by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to each alien who is admitted to the United States, or who came into contact with the agency (Example: application for asylum). “A” number is listed on all documents and DHS correspondence. Enter the INS Number and Date of Entry in 3G.

 

  1. Gather all the information necessary to determine eligibility as described in WAC 388-424-0001WAC 388-424-0006WAC 388-424-0007WAC 388-424-0008, and WAC 388-424-0009. Document immigration status, date of entry, armed service/veteran status, work quarters, and SSN information in ACES. Inform any client who is subject to the five-year bar of the expiration date of their five-year bar and of the need to inform the Department if family members become citizens (including parents who have children under 18).
NOTE: Once the SSN is federally verified, ACES will send back to SSA to verify citizenship status.  If SSA cannot verify citizenship, MPA will receive an alert to work with the client to verify citizenship.
  1. For aliens who have an Affidavit of Support form (I-864) filled out on their behalf, be sure to determine work quarters and citizenship status. If the affidavit is still in effect:
  2. See WAC 388-450-0155 and WAC 388-450-0156  to determine if sponsor deeming applies;
  3. See WAC 388-450-0160  for treatment of the sponsor's income; and see WAC 388-470-0060  for treatment of the sponsor's resources.

ACES Procedures

Alien Emergency Medical

Citizenship and Alien Status for State Cash Programs

Revised June 15, 2012

Purpose: 

This section provides information on how an alien’s immigration status affects their eligibility for the State Family Assistance (SFA), Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) cash, and Pregnant Women Assistance (PWA) programs. The purpose of SFA is to provide assistance to immigrants and others who are ineligible to receive TANF benefits because of the restrictions imposed under federal welfare reform. ABD provides assistance to disabled or aged individuals, including those who are ineligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) due to immigrant or other restrictions. Chemical dependency services are broadly available to legal immigrants.

WAC 388-424-0015 Immigrant eligibility restrictions for the State Family Assistance, ABD cash, PWA, and ADATSA programs.


Clarifying Information - WAC 388-424-0015

  1.  ABD and PWA are broadly accessible to immigrants as long as they meet all other program requirements. Non-immigrants and undocumented aliens, as defined in WAC 388-424-0001, are not eligible for ABD or PWA.
  2. Becoming a citizen (naturalizing) is not a program requirement for any state or federal benefit. Generally, a client is not eligible to naturalize until 5 years after they have attained legal status, but there are some exceptions. Refugee resettlement agencies and Community Based Organizations (CBO) provide naturalization assistance to those immigrants receiving state or federal benefits so that they can become citizens. For more information, see the Social Services Manual SSI Facilitation Chapter,  for non-U.S. citizens. Immigrants who don’t become citizens and lose SSI due to expiration of seven years of refugee status (which also affects asylees, victims of trafficking, Cuban Haitian entrants, Amerasians, and those granted withholding of removal) will be provided ABD or TANF, Basic Food, and medical assistance, assuming they are otherwise eligible.

Worker Responsibilities - WAC 388-424-0015

  1. Related WACs:
    1. See WAC 388-450-0116  for treatment of the income of household members who are ineligible to receive SFA due to their alien status.
    2. See WAC 388-450-0160 and WAC 388-470-0060  for treatment of income and resources of a sponsored alien’s sponsor.
  2. When a client reports a change in their status, update their alien status on the ALAS screen in ACES. It is particularly important to record changes in status for recipients of state-funded cash or medical programs, as these aliens may become eligible for federal programs as a result of this change in status.

Restrictions for State Medical Benefits– Medical Care Services and Pregnancy Medical

Revised January 25, 2012

Purpose: 

This section provides information on how an alien's immigration status affects their eligibility for state medical programs.

Worker Responsibilities

  1. Provide information about naturalization assistance offered by the Refugee resettlement agencies and Community Based Organizations (CBO) for immigrants who are not eligible for federal benefits. For information on the Department’s naturalization assistance program, see the Social Services Manual, SSI Facilitation.

Resources, Desk Aids and Links

Citizenship and Identity Documents for Medicaid

Citizenship and Identity Verification Documents – T1 – T4

T1 Documents (Only Tier 1 documents are considered by the federal government to document both citizenship and identity).

  • US Passport.
  • Enhanced Drivers license or state ID (only if issuing state verifies citizenship to issue enhanced document)
  • Certificate of Naturalization.
  • Certificate of Citizenship.
  • Tribal Membership Card with picture.

T2 Documents

  • Official state/county US birth certificate. ***
  • Other certification of birth issued by the Department of State.
  • Department of Health (DOH) printout for Washington State Birth
  • US Citizen ID card.
  • Final adoption decree in the US.
  • Evidence of civil service employment by the US government before June 1976.
  • Official military record of service that shows a US place of birth.

***NOTE: A "hospital" birth certificate is considered by the federal government to be a souvenir and DOES NOT meet the federal requirement for any "T" level of verification.

T3 - Examples

The T3 tier of verification must be created 5 years before the date of initial application or eligibility review.

  • Religious records within 3 months of birth showing US place of birth.
  • Early school record showing a US place of birth.
  • Insurance company records (life or health), that indicate a US place of birth.
  • US hospital record created at the time of birth, indicating a US place of birth such as:
    • Chart notes of the birth.
    • Hospital records of the baby's stay in the hospital.
  • Other document that shows a U.S. place of birth that was created at least 5 years prior to the client’s initial application for Medicaid.

T4 - Examples

  • Federal or State census record indicating US citizenship or US place of birth.
  • Institutional admission papers indicating a US place of birth and created 5 years before the date of initial application or review.
  • Other medical records (clinic, doctor, or hospital), created five years before the date of initial application or review that indicate a US place of birth.
  • Citizenship Affidavit (DSHSH 27-033)
  • The Citizenship Documentation and Identity Declaration form (DSHS 13-789) does not fulfill this requirement.
  • Clients exempt from citizenship requirements due to SSI, Medicare or receiving SSA disability if no level T1 or T2 exists.

Identity - Examples

  • A current state driver's license with individual's picture.
  • A state identity card with individual's picture.
  • A US American Indian/Alaska Native tribal document.
  • Military identification card with individual's picture.
  • For disabled individuals in residential care facilities the facility administrator or director may submit affidavits attesting to the client's identity.

A child under the age of 16 (or 16-17 if they have no ID verification above) may present the following documents as evidence of identity:

  • Citizenship Documentation and Identity Declaration form (DSHS 13-789) signed by the parent or guardian attesting to the child's identity.
  • School record (including daycare and nursery school records)
  • Clinic, doctor or hospital record.

Immigration Law Center (NILC) Guide

Revised March 21, 2012

APPENDIX II

National Immigration Law Center (NILC) Guide

The National Immigration Law Center (NILC) publishes the "Guide to Immigrant Eligibility for Federal Programs, Fourth Edition". This appendix gives you access to sections of the NILC Guide, which contain descriptions and pictures of key citizenship and immigration documents, and information on how to decipher the coding on these documents.

  • While this information was current as of the 2002 NILC Guide publication date, it is not a complete list of immigrant statuses and documents. If you encounter a client with a status or document that is not on these lists, or a client claims legal status but has no supporting documentation, please contact  Tom Berry regarding cash or food assistance:
  • Tom Berry can be reached at 360-725-4617 or berrytj@dshs.wa.gov
  • Other types of immigrant eligibility questions should be submitted to the Policy Clarification Database through your Regional Financial Coordinator.

Sample SSN Request Letter

Revised September 20, 2011

APPENDIX VI

Click the following link to complete the SSN Request  used to request a non-work SSN from the Social Security Administration on behalf of clients applying for benefits.

Citizenship and Alien Status - Statement of Hmong/Highland Lao Tribal Membership

Revised March 25, 2011

APPENDIX III

Statement of Hmong/Highland Lao Tribal Membership

I declare, under penalty of perjury, that I was a Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe member when the tribe assisted the U.S. military during the Vietnam era (8/5/64 to 5/7/75).

 

Signature

 

Date

Work Quarters Barcode Procedures

Revised March 25, 2011

APPENDIX V

BARCODE PROCEDURES FOR REQUESTING WORK QUARTERS THROUGH THE SSA QUERY SYSTEM