The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Alert for Legal Immigrants Getting Connector Denials, April 2015

Date: 
04/02/2015
Author: 
Vicky Pulos
Please help us identify lawfully present immigrants who were incorrectly denied benefits by the Connector & received only MassHealth Limited or Health Safety Net from MassHealth. 
 
Attached is an alert for affected immigrants including information about how to get legal assistance. Please help GBLS and MLRI to identify legal immigrants incorrectly denied benefits by distributing this form and letting any of your patients or clients know how to contact us.
 
Immigrants in this group applied through www.mahealthconnector.org or by filing the paper ACA-3 application form. They received a notice from MassHealth approving them for only MassHealth Limited, Health Safety Net or Children's Medical Security Program. 
​They received a denial notice from the Connector
.
 
We know in at least some cases, eligible immigrants with documents and document numbers listed on their paper application had 
​their immigration status erroneously listed as ​
"none of the above"  by state workers
​ entering information from the paper application into the computer​
​.​  This same mistake may have been made by people applying on-line on their own or with assistance.
 
Initial questions on the paper application & the on-line application screen ask an applicant if they are an eligible immigrant, and if so, to describe their status & supply document numbers. At the time of an on-line application or at the time a paper application is entered into the computer, there is an electronic data match with federal immigration records. If the system is unable to verify status electronically, a drop down menu appears asking the person to identify their status from the list. The list includes all eligible statuses including one for "another eligible status not on the list", the final entry is "none of the above". None of the above signifies to the computer that the applicant does NOT have an eligible status. A future upgrade should remove this option. However, right now erroneous selection of "none of the above" will result in an erroneous denial for lawfullly present immigrants. Please note: Immigrants whose status is not verified electronically are still eligible, however, they will be required to submit documentation to verify their status and retain benefits.

Attached is a copy of the immigration questions on the application form, and the drop down menu that appears on the screen if the electronic data match is unable to verify a person's status. Please be on the alert for lawfully present immigrants wrongly denied benefits.  If you are helping an immigrant to apply on paper, please describe an eligible status in terms that correspond to entries on the drop down list.

 
Attached are flyers in English, Spanish, Haitian-Creole, Chinese, & Vietnamese with referral information for legal assistance

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