The previous post on this blog regarding Supplemental Security Income discussed the various requirements a noncitizen residing anywhere in the United States, including New Jersey, must meet to be eligible. If a noncitizen wants the SSI application process to go more smoothly, then being familiar with all of the requirements can help given that the Social Security Administration’s rules and regulations are often complicated.
According to the SSA, certain noncitizens of the United States and refugees can expect to receive SSI benefits for a period of up to seven years. If a recipient falls into this category, the SSA will inform the person by letter when the seven-year period is about to end. The SSA also sends another letter before payments stop that explains noncitizens’ rights to appeal the discontinuation of their SSI benefits.
People in the seven-year category who are currently receiving SSI benefits or have received benefits in the past and have applied for U.S. citizenship can contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, or USCIS, to speed up the naturalization process or the adjustment of status process. An applicant can also request that USCIS waive the statutory fees necessary to file applications for naturalization or adjustment.
For noncitizens, an American sponsor often can greatly help in any application for SSI benefits. This is especially true if a noncitizen possesses an affidavit of support signed by an American citizen; U.S. citizens who act in this capacity are called “sponsors.” The affidavit of support is an agreement that pledges support to an immigrant upon his or her entry into the United States. This document establishes that a portion of any income earned by the sponsor and the sponsor’s spouse as well as other resources are considered to belong to the immigrant after his or her entry into the country.
Source: SSA.gov, “Supplemental Security Income (SSI) For Noncitizens,” Accessed on Jan. 22, 2015