The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

Hotline 10/14: SNAP noncitizen applicants

Date: 
10/01/2014
Author: 
DTA

From the Hotline
If you have any questions on this column or other policy and procedural material, please have
your Hotline designee call the Policy Hotline at 617-348-8478.

Q. 1. I have an EAEDC client who is a noncitizen with Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status. I understand
that generally a LPR has a five-year wait before becoming eligible for SNAP benefits. Which
noncitizens with LPR status are not subject to the five-year wait?
A. 1. LPRs applying for SNAP are not subject to the five-year waiting period if they are/were:

  • Disabled, at the federal level (e.g., as determined by the University of Massachusetts Disability Evaluation Services (DES) or by the Social Security Administration). See 106 CMR 361.210 for more info.
  • Children under age 18;
  • Certain Iraqi and Afghan families with the "Special Immigrant Visa" (SIV) designation;
  • Adjusted to LPR status from a certain qualified noncitizen status (e.g., Refugee or Asylee);
  • Born on or before 8/22/31 and lawfully resided in the U.S. on 8/22/96;
  • Worked a minimum of 40 qualifying quarters or can be credited with a minimum of 40 qualifying quarters;
  • Veterans or active duty personnel, as defined in 106 CMR 362.240(F).

Q. 2. I have an elderly EAEDC noncitizen applicant who has been granted Parolee status for longer than one year but has only resided in the U.S. for two years. Is he eligible for SNAP?
A. 2. Possibly. Generally, a noncitizen with Parolee status (paroled for at least one year) must hold a qualified noncitizen status for five years (however, Cuban and Haitian entrants are eligible from the time they arrive in the U.S.). As with LPRs, exceptions apply. See 106 CMR 362.220(B)(9). For example, if the applicant is disabled, he or she may submit a completed SNAP Disability Verification for Elderly Noncitizens form, SNAP-DVEN (6/2008) signed by a licensed medical practitioner and may receive SNAP benefits, if otherwise eligible.

Remember that exceptions to the five-year bar for SNAP may also apply to those noncitizens who meet the battered noncitizen requirements. It is important to explore with all noncitizen clients generally subject to the five-year bar whether an exception applies.

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