How may a non-citizen be eligible for SSI?

A non-citizen (also called an “alien” for immigration purposes) may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) if he or she meets the requirements of the laws for non–citizens that went into effect in 1996.  Most non-citizens must meet two requirements to be potentially eligible:

1.be in a qualified alien category, below, and

2. meet a condition that allows qualified aliens to get SSI.

IMPORTANT: A non-citizen must also meet all of the other rules for SSI eligibility, including the limits on income and resources.  Lawfully Admitted for Permanent Residence (LAPR) in the U.S.blank spacerGranted conditional entry under Section 203(a)(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect before April 1, 1980;
  1. blank spacerParoled into the U.S. under Section 212(d)(5) of the INA for a period of at least one year;
  2. blank spacerRefugee admitted to the U.S. under Section 207 of the INA;
  3. blank spacerGranted asylum under Section 208 of the INA;
  4. blank spacerDeportation is being withheld under Section 243(h) of the INA, as in effect before April 1, 1997; or removal is being withheld under Section 241(b)(3) of the INA;
  5. A blank spacer“Cuban and Haitian entrant” as defined in Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 or in a status that is to be treated as a “Cuban/ Haitian entrant” for SSI purposes.

In addition, you can be a “deemed qualified alien” if, under certain circumstances, you, your child or parent were subjected to battery or extreme cruelty by a family member while in the United States. Legal guidance is really important, this can be a minefield of legal issues.