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Immigrant Eligibility Handbook

December 1, 2008

Author(s):  Barbara Weiner, Esq.

The rules governing the eligibility of individuals who are not citizens of the United States for federal or state public benefits, including medical assistance, are complicated. They are also subject to change. This manual addresses the immigrant eligibilityrules of the various health care programs in New York as they existed in December of 2008. Although these rules are unlikely to alter substantially within the next few years, advocates should be aware of the potential for change, including the possibility of national immigration reform, which is likely to establish new immigrant classifications. How those classifications will fit into the structure described here remains to be seen

This manual does not address eligibility requirements in the health insurance programs other than the immigration status restrictions. It is assumed that the immigrant applying for medical assistance otherwise meets all the financial and other non-immigrant related requirements of the particular program.


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