The Application Process For TANF, Food Stamps, Medicaid, and SCHIP. Household Composition

01/01/2003

Immigrants frequently live in large households with members from different generations and of varying legal statuses, greatly complicating eligibility determination for FSP and TANF. Eligibility workers told us that two or more immigrant families often live in the same household unit, but usually only one family has a name on the lease. This makes verifying residence difficult, especially when the applicant is subletting illegally and therefore unwilling to contact the landlord for verification. Some workers also said they sometimes find it difficult to obtain the names and ages of all children in large immigrant families. Others noted that non-citizen applicants for TANF and FSP are reluctant to disclose the identities of certain family members or individuals living in the household, presumably because they are undocumented. As mentioned elsewhere, this reluctance may also deter non-citizens from attempting to apply for benefits in the first place.

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