May 29, 1997
TO : STATE AND AREA AGENCIES ADMINISTERING
PLANS UNDER TITLE III AND TITLE VII AND INDIAN TRIBAL ORGANIZATIONS
UNDER TITLE VI OF THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 1965, AS AMENDED
SUBJECT : Restrictions on Noncitizens for
Federal Public Benefits: Update
REFERENCES: The Personal Responsibility
and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
Attached are four
sets of material to guide action you may wish to take relating
to the restrictions on noncitizens in the Personal Responsibility
and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA).
The first set provides information concerning the
individuals who received a notice concerning their Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) benefits, in February and March, from the
Social Security Administration (SSA). Lists of these individuals
are available to each state and local agencies enlisted by the
states to serve as their agents. You may wish to use these lists
for purposes of outreach and to provide information and assistance
to older individuals who wish to become naturalized citizens or
to remain or become eligible for SSI benefits.
Current plans are for SSA to send notices of suspension
of SSI benefits in the first week of August to those individuals
who may not be eligible for these benefits. On receipt of this
notice, the individual has ten (10) days to appeal the determination
and continue benefits during the first level of appeal. Individuals
who become eligible during the one year covered by the suspension,
through naturalization or other evidence of eligibility, will
not have to submit a new application.
The second set of materials provides summary information
on the President's budget proposals to remedy some of the hardships
due to the restrictions in PRWORA. It is important to emphasize
that the budget agreement between the President and the congressional
leadership requires approval by several committees before enactment.
It is critical that older noncitizens do not postpone taking the
necessary steps to become naturalized citizens and promptly contact
SSA if they received a notice in February or March concerning
their SSI benefits.
The third set of materials provides information
obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the characteristics
of participants in the Foodstamp Program. The fourth set of materials
includes information provided by the U.S. Department of Justice
For information on reasonable accommodation and
exceptions from English and civics testing requirements for naturalization
applicants with disabilities, please refer to AoA-IM-97-06, dated
March 18, 1997.
We shall provide additional information to you as
soon as this becomes available.
INQUIRIES : Inquiries should be addressed
to Regional Administrators on Aging, HHS Regional Offices
William F. Benson
Acting Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aging
Information about noncitizens who receive SSI benefits
President's budget proposals concerning legal immigrants
Information on participants in the Foodstamp Program
Information on naturalization, Social Security number and SSI