52. Can my children get benefits if I am an ineligible immigrant?

You have the right to apply for eligible household members, such as U.S. citizen children and spouses. If you or other household members do not have legal status or do not wish to receive SNAP for some reason even though eligible, you can exclude yourself from the SNAP application.

Note, may qualify for state-funded SNAP if you are legally present but not eligible for federal SNAP. This benefit will be available soon for parolees and battered immigrants subject to the 5-year waiting period, immigrants who have Temporary Protected Status (TPS), immigrants with pending asylum claims, victims of violence (U visas) and other immigration statuses considered “permanently residing under color of law” or PRUCOL. See Question 48.

When you apply for SNAP or cash, be sure to tell DTA if any member of your household wants to "opt out" of the application. You are not required to give proof of immigration status or supply an SSN for individuals in your household who are not seeking SNAP for based on their immigration status. 106 C.M.R. § 362.220

However, if you are the immigrant parent of a child (or spouse, living in the household) and yyou are applying for your dependents, you still must give DTA with information about your income and expenses. DTA will count your income in calculation the SNAP benefits for dependents.

DTA should only ask for proof of the U.S. citizenship of your children or other eligible household members if their status is “questionable.” 106 C.M.R. § 362.210. Being a U.S. born child to immigrant parents is not questionable.

Further, receipt of SNAP for eligible dependents does not create “public charge” problems for the immigrant parent. See Question 53.


DTA Online Guide

See Appendix G for links to the DTA's BEACON 5 Online Guide for this section.