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This section contains articles, policy advocacy, trainings, and other resources addressing the eligibility of immigrants for SSI.  Empire Justice’s Albany Office deals primarily with these issues though the Rochester and Long Island offices handle individual cases of immigrants seeking to access public benefits, primarily Medicaid.



Holocaust or Nazi Victim Reparations -- Effect on Medicaid, SSI and other Federally Funded and New York State Benefits
Under a 1994 law, (h.r. 1873 or public law 103-286), Holocaust compensation payments made to individuals based on their status as victims of Nazi persecution are excluded from being counted as income and resources in determining both eligibility for and the amount of benefits to be provided under any Federally funded program based on financial need. This means payments made to victims of Nazi persecution do not increase the countable income, and therefore do not increase the Medicaid "spend-down" of Holocaust survivors and other Nazi victims. Savings accumulated from reparations are not counted as resources. The same exemption applies to Supplemental Security Income, Food Stamps and Federally subsidized Housing programs. Read More

Appeals Council Awards SSI to Asylee
Anne Callagy, an attorney with the Bronx office of the Legal Aid Society, convinced the Appeals Council to restore benefits to a claimant whose SSI had been terminated due to his immigration status. Read More

SSA Wrongfully Denies Refugees
Advocates from the Syracuse region report that at least several SSI claims representatives misunderstand SSI refugee eligibility. The ins and outs of the rules are admittedly convoluted. Read More

SSI Refugees Lose Benefits
The temporary relief provided to refugees whose seven year time limit for SSI (Supplemental Security Income) eligibility was just that – temporary. Advocates will recall previous articles outlining the “SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act” (“Extension Act,” Public Law 110-328) signed into law on September 30, 2008, by then President Bush. Read More

Non-Citizenship: Articles


SSI Extension for Refugee
2008 Extension of Time Period for SSI Eligibility of Humanitarian-based Immigrants Read More


Immigrant Eligibility Chart
The Immigrant Benefit Eligibility chart now includes the provisions of the SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act of 2008. Read More



Disability Law News - July 2017
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP Advocates. In this issue, we summarize a policy change by SSA that exempts tax refund collection for old debts. Several new regulations, administrative decisions and court decisions are also discussed. Read More

Disability Law News - December 2010 Issue
The Disability Law News is a quarterly newsletter published for DAP advocates. Featured in this issue is an article on "COLA". Also in this issue you will find articles on Regulations, Court Decisions, Administrative Decisions, and the Bulletin Board along with other articles Read More


Effect of Holocaust Reparations on Medicaid, SSI and Other Benefits
The Victims of Nazi Persecution Act of 1994 creates a special right for survivors of the Holocaust. When they apply for federally funded benefits or services that are based on financial need, the payments they have received based on their status as a victim of Nazi persecution are not counted in determining their financial eligibility for these federally funded benefits. Read More

Immigration Status & Public Benefits Eligibility
This is a training on immigration status as an eligibility requirement in various federal and state public benefits programs. The main focus of the session will be on the immigrant eligibility rules in means tested benefit programs, specifically the Family and Safety Net Assistance Programs, the Supplemental Security Income program (SSI), Food Stamps and Medicaid. In addition to the program rules, we will cover the immigrant documentation requirements of the benefits agencies and some special issues that arise in the context of immigrant use of benefits programs, including public charge, sponsor liability and reporting. Read More