Sponsored and Non-sponsored LPRs
Information on this page refers to the Nutrition Assistance program Information on this page refers to the Cash Assistance program
This subject includes information about sponsored and non-sponsored lawful permanent residents (LPR) and when it is required to deem the sponsor’s income and resources available to an LPR.
Policy
A lawful permanent resident (LPR) is either sponsored or non-sponsored. Sponsored LPR policy is used to determine whether a portion of the income and resources of the sponsor are included when determining the income and resource limit of the sponsored LPR. (See LPR Additional Requirements for additional LPR eligibility requirements.)
A non-sponsored LPR is a noncitizen given permission to permanently live and work in the United States (U.S.) and has not been sponsored through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by a person or an organization. Non-sponsored LPRs usually enter the U.S. in a temporary status.
A sponsored LPR can be sponsored by a person, an organization, or group. Whether an LPR is sponsored is identified by the Class of Admission (COA) Code.
Sponsored LPR policy does not apply to any of the following:
Non-sponsored LPR participants
LPR participants sponsored by an organization or group
For NA, when the budgetary unit meets expanded categorical eligibility criteria because their income is below 185% of the federal poverty level (FPL)
As a condition of the noncitizen's admission for permanent residence in the United States, the sponsor is required to complete an Affidavit of Support (I-864 or I-864A) USCIS form. The affidavit is accepted by USCIS as the sponsor's agreement to support the noncitizen. Affidavits of Support signed on or after 12/19/1997, are legal binding contracts.
Sponsored LPR policy applies when the sponsored LPR meets all of the following:
Meets Qualified Noncitizen requirements.
Has applied or became an LPR on or after 12/19/1997.
Is sponsored by a person and is not sponsored by an organization or group.
The sponsor has signed one or more of the following USCIS Forms on or after 12/19/1997:
I-864 Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the INA (Immigration and Nationality Act)
I-864A Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
Does not have 40 quarters of coverage.
Is otherwise eligible for benefits.
When determining the income and resources available to the LPR budgetary unit, FAA determines whether the income and resources of the sponsor are deemed available to the LPR.
When an LPR is sponsored by a person, the income and resources of the sponsor are deemed available to the sponsored LPR unless any of the following applies:
The sponsored LPR is exempt from the sponsor deeming policy (See Exemptions from Sponsor Deeming for exemptions.)
The sponsored LPR is considered indigent (See Sponsored Indigent Test for the indigent determination.)
To determine how much of the sponsor’s income and resources are deemed available to the sponsored LPR, see Determining the Amount Deemed Available to the LPR.
In addition to meeting the standard reporting requirements, a sponsored LPR is responsible for reporting any of the following information:
Information about a new sponsor and the sponsor's spouse when there is a change in sponsor
When the sponsor or sponsor's spouse changes or loses employment
When a sponsor dies
Appeals and Overpayments of Sponsored Lawful Permanent Residents
The sponsor is entitled to an appeal for any of the following:
To contest a determination that the sponsor was at fault for providing incorrect information.
To contest the amount of the claim.
The sponsor and sponsored LPR are jointly responsible for repayment of any overpayment resulting from incorrect information provided by the sponsor. However, when it is determined that the sponsor is without fault when supplying incorrect information, the sponsored LPR's budgetary unit is solely responsible for the overpayment.
Exemptions from Sponsor Deeming Policy
No information is needed regarding the sponsor when the sponsored LPR is exempt from the sponsor deeming policy. The sponsored LPR is exempt from sponsor deeming policy when any of the following occur:
The sponsored LPR can be credited with 40 quarters of earnings
The sponsored LPR is a victim of domestic violence or extreme cruelty, by a member of the family
The sponsored LPR is a victim of a severe form of trafficking, is not required to have a sponsor, and is to be treated as a refugee for eligibility purposes
The sponsored LPR becomes a naturalized U.S. citizen
The sponsored LPR is under 18 (See Example 2)
The sponsored LPR does not meet qualified noncitizen requirements
The sponsor dies
The sponsor did not sign an I-864 or I-864A USCIS form
The sponsor signed an I-864 or I-864A USCIS form before 12/19/1997, or signed an affidavit of support other than the I-864 or I-864A USCIS form
The sponsored LPR applied for or became an LPR before 12/19/1997
The LPR was not required to have a sponsor, such as a refugee, asylee, Cuban or Haitian entrant
The LPR entered in employment or other nonfamily categories, such as the diversity category, where the sponsor did not have to sign the I-864 or I-864A USCIS form
The sponsored LPR and the sponsor are participants in the same budgetary unit
NOTE The income and resources are considered as normal countable income and resources when the sponsor is part of the budgetary unit.
When the sponsored LPR is not exempt from sponsor policy and the sponsored LPR is not indigent, the income and resources of the sponsor are deemed available. (See Sponsored Indigent Test for the indigent determination.)
When the sponsored LPR meets the indigent test, the sponsored LPR is potentially eligible for benefits.
When the sponsored LPR is indigent, the sponsor’s income or resources are not deemed available to the sponsored LPR. When determining the indigent sponsored LPR’s income, only the actual cash contributions provided by the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse are counted.
Sponsored Indigent Test
A sponsored LPR is considered indigent when the total income for the budgetary unit is under any of the following:
For CA, 36% of the 1992 federal poverty level (FPL)
For NA, 130% of the current FPL
NOTE When the Sponsored LPR is provided free room and board, the sponsored LPR is not indigent, and the sponsor’s income is deemed available when not exempt.
This total income includes, and is not limited to, any of the following:
Earned income
Unearned income
In-kind income
Self-employment income
Cash contributions from the sponsor
Cash value of food, clothing, shelter, and utilities provided by the sponsor
Vendor payments by the sponsor
When the sponsored LPR is not indigent, the sponsor’s income is deemed available to the LPR unless exempt. When the sponsored LPR is indigent, do not deem the sponsor’s income or resources available to the LPR.
When the sponsored LPR meets the indigent test, the sponsored LPR is potentially eligible for benefits.
Determining the Deemed Available Amount
When an LPR is sponsored, the sponsor’s income is deemed available to the sponsored LPR, unless exempt or indigent.
NOTE When the sponsor lives with their spouse, the sponsor’s spouse’s income is also deemed available to the sponsored LPR.
For CA, the countable resources of the sponsor and their spouse, minus $1500, is deemed available to the sponsored LPR, unless exempt or indigent.
To determine the amount of deemed income countable to the sponsored LPR, FAA completes all of the following:
Determines the sponsor's (earned and unearned) gross monthly income.
When the sponsor lives with their spouse, determines the sponsor’s spouse’s (earned and unearned) gross monthly income. Adds all incomes together.
Subtracts 20% of the earned gross monthly income. For CA, this amount does not exceed $175.
Determines the size of the sponsor's tax unit for each of the following programs:
For NA, the size of the sponsor’s tax unit is equal in size to the sponsor, the sponsor’s spouse, and any other person who is claimed or could be claimed by the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
For CA, the size of the sponsor’s tax unit is equal to the sponsor and anyone living in the same household who is both of the following:
Claimed or could be claimed by the sponsor as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
Not part of the CA budgetary unit.
Subtracts from the previous total for each of the following programs:
For NA, the monthly gross income limit amount associated with the NA budgetary unit size equal to the sponsor’s tax unit. (See NA monthly gross income for current amounts)
For CA, the amount associated with the CA family size equal to the sponsor’s tax unit for one of the following:
130% of the federal poverty level (FPL) when the adult caretaker is a non-parent caretaker relative of the dependent child and they are applying for the child only. (See 130% for the current amounts.)
100% of the FPL when the caretaker relative is a parent of the dependent child, or the non-parent caretaker relative is applying for themself and the child. (See 100% for the current amounts.)
For CA, subtracts from the previous total any amount paid by the sponsor or sponsor’s spouse to people not living in the household who are or could be claimed by them as dependents to determine their federal personal income tax liability.
When the sponsor has signed more than one I-864 or I-864A USCIS form sponsoring more than one person, divides the resulting amount by the number of sponsored LPRs.
NOTE When the result is $0 or a negative amount, the amount deemed is $0.
The result is the portion of the sponsor's income that is deemed available to each sponsored LPR. (See Example 1 and Example 2)
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.
Verification Requirements for Sponsored Lawful Permanent Residents
Sponsored lawful permanent residents (LPRs) are required to provide all of the following verification:
The name, address, and phone number of the sponsor.
Value of the contributions provided by the sponsor, to the sponsored LPR.
A list of who lives with the sponsor and how they are related to the sponsor.
Income of the sponsor and, when applicable, the spouse of the sponsor.
When applying for CA, resources of the sponsor and, when applicable, the spouse of the sponsor.
The sponsored LPR is not required to provide the income or resources of their sponsor when they meet any of the following:
They are exempt from sponsor policy
They are determined to be indigent
They are sponsored by an organization or group
Examples
1) John has sponsored his two adult brothers, Jim and Joe. Joe applied for NA benefits. He is not exempt from sponsor policy and is not indigent.
John earns $2000 per month and lives alone. John’s tax unit includes 1 person. The following is the amount deemed available to Joe from his brother John:
$2000 minus $400 (20%), equals $1600
$1600 minus $1473 (NA gross income eligibility limit for a budgetary unit of one) equals $127
Since John sponsored two people, the countable deemed income is divided by two.
$63.50 of John’s income is deemed available to Joe.
2) Mark sponsored his adult sister Jill and her daughter Janet. Jill applied for CA benefits for herself and her daughter. Janet is 13 years old and is exempt from sponsor policy. Jill is not exempt from sponsor policy and is not indigent.
Mark earns $2200 per month and lives with his wife, Mary, and his mother. Mark claims his wife and mother as dependents on his taxes, so his tax unit includes three people. Mary also earns $2400 per year of unearned income from an annuity. Mark and Mary send their 22-year-old son in college $100 monthly to help with his expenses. Mark and Mary have $300 in their checking account and no other countable resources.
The following is the amount deemed to Jill and Janet from Mark and Mary:
$2200, minus $175 (20% of the earned income, not to exceed $175), equals $2025.
$2025 plus $200 ($2400/12 to determine the monthly amount) equals $2225.
$2225 minus $1920 (100% of the federal poverty level (FPL) for a CA family size of three), equals $305.
$305 minus $100 (amount provided to a person outside the household that would be part of the tax unit) equals $205.
Since Mark sponsored two people, the countable deemed income is divided by two.
$102.50 of Mark and Mary’s income is deemed available to Jill. Janet is under the age of 18 and exempt. None of Mark and Mary’s income is deemed available to Janet.
The sponsor’s resources are less than $1500. No resources are deemed available to Jill. Janet is under the age of 18 and exempt.
Legal Authorities
last revised 10/03/2022