LPR Additional Requirements
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
This subject includes the requirements for a lawful permanent resident (LPR) to be potentially eligible for NA and CA.
Policy
A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is a noncitizen given permission to permanently live and work in the United States (U.S.).
Most LPRs come to the U.S. in a temporary status. A noncitizen who does not enter the U.S. in a temporary status and enters the U.S. as an LPR is usually sponsored. The Class of Admission (COA) Code determines the original entry status of an LPR.
For Afghan LPRs coming to the U.S. under the Operation Allies Welcome (OAW), see Special Immigrant Visa Holder under Qualified Noncitizens.
Being an LPR does not determine eligibility alone. An LPR is required to meet additional requirements to be potentially eligible for NA and CA.
Sponsored and non-sponsored LPRs who meet at least one of the additional requirements listed below are potentially eligible for NA and CA. See all of the following LPR requirements for additional information:
Five Years Residency (Both programs)
Military Connection (Both programs)
Prior Qualified Status (Both programs)
Five Years Lawful Residency
To meet the five-year requirement, an LPR must have been continuously living in the U.S. as an LPR for five years or more.
The LPR becomes potentially eligible for NA and CA from the beginning of the month the LPR has five years as an LPR.
Some LPR’s who entered the U.S. as a temporary qualified noncitizen do not have to meet the five years as an LPR requirement due to their previous temporary qualified status. This applies to LPR’s who entered with one of the following temporary qualified noncitizens statuses:
Asylee
Cuban or Haitian entrant
Noncitizen whose deportation is withheld
Refugee or Amerasian
Victim of severe trafficking
Prior Qualified Status
To meet prior qualified status, an LPR must have entered the U.S. in a temporary qualified status. (See Qualified Noncitizens for a list.)
NOTE These participants are potentially eligible for NA and CA. (See Example 1)
Specific COA Codes indicate prior temporary qualified status.
Military Connection
An LPR with a military connection is potentially eligible for benefits regardless of their date of entry. A military connection is any of the following:
An honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States.
On active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.
A spouse(g) of a veteran or person on active duty who meets any of the following:
Legally married to the veteran or person on active duty.
Legally separated from the veteran or person on active duty.
An unmarried widowed spouse of the veteran or a person who was on active duty.
An unmarried dependent child of a veteran or a person on active duty.
An unmarried dependent stepchild living with the stepparent veteran or person on active duty.
The military connection applies in any of the following circumstances:
The spouse and the veteran or person on active duty are living together or apart.
The veteran or active-duty person is either a U.S. citizen or a noncitizen.
Military service applies only to full-time Air Force, Army, Navy, Marine, or Coast Guard. Reserve or National Guard personnel who have not been called to active duty do not qualify as military service.
CA Continuous Residency
Certain qualified noncitizens who do not meet the five-year date of entry requirement may still establish potential eligibility for CA.
Any of the following qualified noncitizens who have been continuously residing in the U.S. since before 08/22/1996 are potentially eligible for CA:
LPR
Parolee
Battered noncitizen
These noncitizens are required to provide documentation that indicates they have been residing in the U.S. continuously since before 08/22/1996.
Continuous residency is verified from 08/22/1996 to the U.S. entry date on the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) document.
There cannot be any absences longer than 30 continuous days. The total of all absences must be fewer than 90 days from the time the noncitizen entered the U.S. up to the date their status (LPR, parolee, or battered noncitizen) was approved.
FAA uses information provided by the participant to verify that the participant has been living in the U.S. continuously since before 08/22/1996.
When it has been determined there is potential eligibility for the qualified noncitizen, the noncitizen is required to provide both of the following:
A written statement. The statement must include both of the following:
The date the noncitizen arrived in the United States.
A list of all dates the noncitizen was absent from the U.S. beginning from their arrival date until the date their status (LPR, parolee, or battered noncitizen) was approved. (See Example 2)
Documentation to support the statement of the qualified noncitizen that they reside in the U.S. and have continuously resided in the U.S. since before 08/22/1996. Several documents may be required to support the presence of the noncitizen in the United States. The documentation may include, and is not limited to, any or all of the following:
Driver's license
Motor vehicle title(s) that lists the noncitizen
Rent or lease receipts or agreements that list the noncitizen
Mortgage records
Church records
School records for children that list the noncitizen
Income tax returns
Medical records
Statement from doctors indicating time frames the noncitizen was treated
Statement from clergy
Attorney records
USCIS records
Employment records
NA Lawful Noncitizen Under Age 18
A lawful noncitizen child under age 18 automatically meets citizenship eligibility for NA, regardless of the following:
Date of entry
Date legal resident status is obtained
The number of qualified quarters
Regardless of the noncitizen eligibility of the adult parent, lawful noncitizen children are potentially eligible for NA when the child meets all of the following:
Is under the age of 18
Legally resides in the United States
Meets all other NA eligibility criteria
The month after the lawful noncitizen child's 18th birthday they are required to meet one of the other non-sponsored LPR additional requirements to continue potential eligibility.
NA Permanent Disability of an LPR
An LPR who has a permanent disability based on any of the following criteria, is potentially eligible for NA:
Receives Social Security benefits under one of the following:
Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Title XVI
Social Security Administration (SSA) disability
Benefits for the blind under Title I, II, X, XIV, or XVI of the Social Security Act
Certified for, but not actually receiving SSI or Retirement Survivor's Disability Insurance (RSDI). They are considered having a disability when they present an SSA Disability Notice or when they have been approved for any of the following:
SSI presumptive disability payments
SSI emergency advanced payments
NOTE A noncitizen may remain certified for disability benefits or payments when they receive no cash benefit because the benefit is being collected by SSA to recover an overpayment.
Is a veteran with a service connected or nonservice connected disability. The Veteran's Administration (VA) must have rated the disability as total or be paid as total under Title 38 of the U.S. Code.
NOTE There is no requirement that they receive payments from the VA.
Is a veteran's surviving spouse who is considered in need of aid and attendance, or is permanently housebound, under Title 38 of the U.S. Code.
NOTE There is no requirement that they receive payments from the VA.
Receives disability retirement benefits from a federal, state, or local government agency because of a disability considered permanent under Section 221(i) of the Social Security Act.
Receives a disability annuity under Section 2(a)(1)(v) of the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 and meets any of the following conditions:
Has been determined eligible for Medicare by the Railroad Retirement board.
Is considered having a disability based on the criteria used under Title XVI of the Social Security Act.
Receives assistance through an AHCCCS Medicare Savings Program (MSP) under Title XIX, of the Social Security Act.
40 Quarters of Earnings
40 quarters of earnings is an eligibility factor for either of the following:
Adult non-sponsored LPR applying for NA.
NOTE Determine 40 quarters of earnings only when the LPR does not meet any of the other eligibility criteria outlined in Non-sponsored LPR criteria.
Sponsored LPR applying for NA or CA.
NOTE When a sponsored LPR has accumulated 40 quarters of earnings, the sponsor's income and resources no longer count.
When the lawful noncitizen child is under the age of 18, 40 quarters of earnings is not an eligibility criterion regardless of whether the noncitizen is sponsored or non-sponsored. (See Under Age 18 for additional information about lawful noncitizen children.)
40 quarters of earnings is ten years of earnings that can be used to establish eligibility. The Social Security Administration (SSA) determines the amount of earnings needed per quarter to qualify the quarter.
Covered or noncovered earnings may be acceptable for meeting the 40 quarter of earnings requirement. Covered earnings are wages or self-employment income for which FICA or SECA (Social Security) taxes are withheld. Noncovered earnings are wages or self-employment income for which FICA or SECA taxes are not withheld.
NOTE Noncovered earnings can only be used to meet the 40 quarters of earnings requirement when a review by SSA is pending.
FAA uses a system interface with SSA to identify verified covered earnings. The system interface is the primary source of verification, but the participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
See Accumulating 40 Quarters and Quarters with Federal Means Tested Public Benefits to identify which quarters of earnings are used.
Accumulating 40 Quarters
Noncitizens may meet the 40 Quarter criteria using any of the following quarters of earnings:
Their own earnings.
For NA, noncitizens may begin accumulating their own quarters regardless of their noncitizen status at the time the work is performed.
For CA, noncitizens may accumulate their own quarters of earnings beginning when they are legally authorized to work in the United States.
Their spouse's earnings.
Noncitizens may use any of the following spouse's quarters of earnings beginning with the quarter the marriage occurred:
A current spouse.
NOTE Quarters of earnings received during periods of voluntary or involuntary separation from the current legal spouse are included.
One or more deceased spouses.
NOTE This includes common law marriages and couples who live together and present themselves as husband and wife to the community.
When a noncitizen's marriage ends in divorce, the ex-spouse's quarters of earnings are no longer counted. An eligible noncitizen who divorces during their approval period may become ineligible at renewal, when reapplying after a break in benefits, or when a change is reported.
Their parent's (natural, adoptive, or stepparent) earnings through the month the noncitizen turns age 18.
The noncitizen is not required to be under the age of 18 and living with the parent in order to use their parent’s quarters. (For example, John, a 20-year-old LPR living on his own, can use his parent’s quarters earned until he turned 18.)
Any of the following quarters of earnings earned before the noncitizen turning 18 may be used:
Quarters earned by a parent (natural or adoptive) before the noncitizen was born or adopted.
Quarters earned by a parent (natural or adoptive) before the noncitizen entered the United States.
Quarters earned by a stepparent while the child lived with the stepparent.
NOTE This includes common law marriages and couples who live together and present themselves as husband and wife to the community.
A quarter may be used to qualify more than one noncitizen.
Quarters with Federal Means Tested Public Benefits
A quarter when the noncitizen receives Federal Means Tested Public Benefits(g) may or may not be used toward the 40 quarters of earnings based on the situation.
Quarters of earnings on or after 01/01/1997 cannot be used as quarters of earnings when any of the following apply:
The noncitizen received the Federal Means Tested Public (FMTP) benefit from any state in that quarter.
The spouse or parent providing the quarter received FMTP benefits from any state in that quarter.
NOTE When the noncitizen earns the 40th quarter of coverage before applying for NA or any other federal means-tested public benefit in that same quarter, FAA allows that quarter toward the 40 qualifying quarters total.
However, a quarter of earnings where FMTP benefits were received can be used toward the 40 quarters of earnings requirement when all of the following apply:
The noncitizen was ineligible to receive the FMTP benefit
They received a FMTP benefit in error
They repaid the FMTP benefit
NOTE The noncitizen cannot make a quarter countable by repaying benefits they were eligible to receive.
Verification
System interface that FAA has with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and collateral contact to other agencies are primarily used to verify noncitizen status from the information provided on the application. However, system interface and collateral contact are not always available. The participant has the primary responsibility for providing verification. (See Participant Responsibilities – Providing Verification for additional policy.)
Noncitizen status is verified only with new applications or when FAA is notified that the status of a participant has changed.
40 Quarter Verification
FAA uses a system interface with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to determine 40 quarters of coverage. When the interface cannot identify a quarter (called lag quarters), examples of what can be used as proof of coverage include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
A copy of a federal or state tax return
Personal records and statements
Employer prepared earnings statement
Internal Revenue Service (IRS) copy of the participant’s tax return
Pay envelopes, vouchers, and similar unsigned employer earnings statement to the participant, or a state or federal agency
Records of state Unemployment Insurance agencies
Statement of earnings signed by the custodian of the employer's records
Timely filed self-employment tax forms
Union records
W-2 or W-2C IRS forms
Documents received from SSA
Verification is required for any of the following to use spouse quarters when determining 40 quarters:
Legal marriage
Common law marriages
The date a couple who lives together began presenting themselves as husband and wife to the community.
Examples of what can be used as proof of marriage include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Divorce decree
Insurance record
Legal annulment documents
Marriage license
Navajo Nation Family Court decree validating a Navajo common law marriage
Other records indicating that a participant was or is married
Religious records
Separation papers
Tribal records
Verification of the relationship of the parent (natural, adoptive, or stepparent) to the noncitizen is required to use a parent’s quarters when determining 40 quarters. When using a stepparent’s earnings, verification that the noncitizen was residing with the stepparent is also required. Examples of what can be used as proof of relationship include, and are not limited to, any of the following:
Adoption records
Bio Data Sheets provided by refugees
Bureau of Vital Statistics records
Certificates of Indian Blood (CIB)
Certified birth certificates
Court records
Church records including statement from priest, etc.
Genetic testing results
Hospital or public records of birth
Insurance policies
Juvenile court records
Navajo Nation Marital Status and Family Profiles
Paternity records
Records maintained by the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS)
Records maintained by the Department of Child Safety (DCS)
School records
Military Connection
When verifying military service criteria for a military connection, any of the following apply:
An honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States is required to present an original or notarized copy of the veteran's discharge papers.
Active-duty status may be verified with an original or notarized copy of the participant's current orders or a military ID card (DD form 2 (active)).
A spouse or unwed dependent child of a veteran or active-duty noncitizen is required to provide a document to verify relationship along with military verification requirements.
A stepchild living with the stepparent is required to provide documents to verify relationship along with military verification requirements.
Examples
1) Elaine has applied for NA and CA. She is a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Elaine entered the United States as a refugee (a prior qualified status) three years ago and attained her LPR status one year ago.
Elaine is potentially eligible for all benefits because of her prior temporary qualified status.
2) Maria applied for CA for herself and her son Ben, age 12.
Maria moved to Phoenix, Arizona, from Tyler, Texas, on 09/26/2002. At the interview, Maria stated she entered the United States (U.S.) in 09/95. She intends to remain in Arizona. Maria provided a written statement from her landlord to confirm Arizona residency since 09/26/2002.
Maria provided her I-551 card showing the LPR entry date of 08/21/2000.
School records were provided that verified that Ben attended school in Tyler since 09/1995 with Maria shown as Ben's parent and guardian. Maria also provided a letter from her pastor in Tyler stating that she taught Sunday school classes from 01/1996 to 06/2002.
Maria provided a written statement that she has never been out of the U.S. for longer than 30 continuous days and the total of all absences is fewer than 90 days.
Maria successfully supported her statement that she has been continuously residing in the U.S. from 09/1995 through 08/21/2000 by providing the following:
School records showing Maria as Ben's parent and guardian from 09/1995 to 06/2002.
Letter from Maria's pastor stating she taught Sunday school from 01/1996 to 06/2002.
LPR card showing entry date of 08/21/2000.
Maria has verified that she has been continuously residing in the U.S. before 08/22/1996 through her LPR entry date of 08/21/2000; therefore, Maria is potentially eligible for CA.
Legal Authorities
last revised 08/15/2022