1 In Arlington, Dallas, Raleigh and Sedalia, eligibility workers or clerical staff at local welfare offices make SAVE inquiries for applications by non-citizens. In New York City, by contrast, all SAVE inquiries are centralized through either the refugee office or the Eligibility Verification Review office for non-refugee applicants. The State of Washington has received a waiver from the requirements to use SAVE for verification of benefit eligibility.
2 In a small number of cases, however, SAVE requests the welfare system to send "secondary verification that must be forwarded on paper to INS. The secondary verification process can take weeks and therefore might delay a legal immigrant's application for benefits. In Arlington, applications for benefits are approved if documents appear to be in order, even if a response from SAVE is still pending due to the need for secondary verification. Workers in other sites reported that delays due to secondary verification requests are very rare.
3 Quarters worked by spouses and parents of immigrants also count toward the work requirement.
4 Refugees are exempt from the welfare reform bar on legal immigrant eligibility for their first five years in the country for Medicaid, SCHIP and TANF, and for their first seven years in FSP.
5 Refugees are eligible for permanent residency and can become LPRs one year after admission.
6 For instance, certain entrants from Cuba and Haiti.
7 The exemption is for seven years in the case of food stamps.
8 The Farm Security Act (P.L. 107-171) was enacted in May 2002 after completion of this study and replaced the 10-year work requirement for legal immigrant adults with a five-year bar consistent with that for TANF, Medicaid and SCHIP. These changes are effective as of April 2003. Eligibility was also restored for all legal immigrant children, regardless of date of entry, effective as of October 2003.
9 Under PRWORA, sponsors must support immigrants until they become citizens or have worked 10 years, and all of the sponsors' income is deemed to be the immigrants' income until that time.
10 Other factors affecting Medicaid and SCHIP participation — most notably premiums, co-pays, deductibles, enrollment in various health plans, and coverage of various different types of health services — can be extremely complicated in Medicaid and SCHIP, but the initial eligibility determination decision is relatively simple and straightforward.
11 Of the six study sites, for example, only Texas did not allow self-declaration of income as of Fall 2001. In January 2002 Texas lightened children's Medicaid and SCHIP verification requirements and began allowing mail-in applications, but these changes did not extend to adult Medicaid applications.
12 The Farm Security Act (P.L. 107-171) enacted in May 2002 simplified verification requirements and changed quality control error reporting for the Food Stamp Program substantially. These changes are effective as of October 2002.
13 The Texas application form is designed so that this question need not come up. However, it had only been in effect for a few weeks at the time of the site visit and workers were still not completely familiar with the new design. See Chapter 4 for details.
14 This usually means that the applicant has to make a separate trip to SSA unless, as is the case in Raleigh, SSA staff are co-located at the central welfare office.
15 Undocumented immigrants applying for benefits for their citizen children must report their earnings because they are counted toward family or household income when determining eligibility, as well as when determining TANF and food stamp benefit levels.