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50. If I am a disabled immigrant, do I need to wait five years for SNAP?

ALERT:  Many of the rules in the SNAPAdvocacy Guide do NOT apply during the pandemic. Please go to the following COVID-19 & DTA benefits page: https://www.masslegalservices.org/DTA-COVID-19 until further notice for more information about changes.

You do not need to wait five years if you are a lawful permanent resident adult and you receive a disability-based benefit because of a severe disability. 106 C.M.R. § 362.220 (B)(7)(e). This policy also applies to battered immigrants and humanitarian parolees.

Question 39 explains the disability rules for SNAP. If you receive TAFDC, MassHealth or EAEDC based on a disability, you may be eligible without the five-year wait. If you are under age 18, there is no 5-year wait.

If you are age 65 or older and you receive EAEDC cash assistance, DTA will let you prove disability with a signed one-page statement from your doctor, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or psychologist. The disability needs to meet the SSI severity levels that apply to seniors (which do take advanced age into account for SSI purposes).

If you are an elder or disabled LPR but are not receiving EAEDC cash assistance, contact an advocate. Some elder or disabled LPRs may not qualify for EAEDC for financial reasons (e.g., spousal income or assets above the low EAEDC limits, or they do not want/need EAEDC benefits.)

DTA Online Guide: SNAP > Eligibility Requirements > Elderly/Disabled > Processing a Claim of Disability to Qualify for the Special Regulations for SNAP and SNAP > Eligibility Requirements > Legal Permanent Residents > Disabled Noncitizen > Disabled Noncitizen

Additional Guidance: