Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirement





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Qualified aliens are eligible to receive benefits for an unlimited period of time provided they meet one of the following conditions:


1.      an individual who has lived in the United States as a qualified alien for five years from the date of entry (effective April 1, 2003);


2.      a blind or disabled (as defined by the Food Stamp Act) individual who is receiving benefits or assistance for their condition regardless of when the individual entered the United States;


3.      children under 18 years of age regardless of when the child entered the United States (effective October 1, 2003);


4.      an otherwise elderly individual (born no later than August 22, 1931) who was lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996;


5.      an alien who has worked 40 quarters of covered employment under Title II of the Social Security Act, or can be credited with such qualifying quarters. The alien may use the quarters of a spouse. A child may use the parents’ quarters before the date the child turns age 18. This means the parents’ quarters could be worked prior to the child’s birth.  If the spouse is divorced, these quarters cannot count to the other spouse. The quarters that a spouse has prior to the actual marriage do not count toward the other spouse. A child’s quarters may not count toward a parent.


Note:  Beginning January 1, 1997, any quarter in which an alien received any Federal means-tested public benefit such as SSI, cash assistance under Title IV-A of the Social Security Act (AFDC, Families First), Food Stamps, and Medicaid, is not counted as a qualifying quarter.


6.      is a veteran of the United States Armed Forces, who has been honorably discharged for reasons other than alienage:


                                         i.      The veteran must have met the minimum active-duty service requirements of section 5303A(d) of title 38, United States Code which is 24 months or the period for which the person was called to active duty.

                                       ii.      Military personnel who die during active duty service are veterans.

                                     iii.      Filipinos described in title 107, 38 U.S.C. who served in the Philippine Commonwealth Army during World War II or as Philippine Scouts following the war.


7.      is an active duty member of the United States Armed Forces (other than active duty for training);


8.      is the spouse or unmarried dependent of an individual described in items 6 and 7 above. (The spouse is eligible if he/she fulfills the requirements of section 1304 of title 38, U.S.C., unless the spouse gets remarried.)


                                      i.         The marriage lasted for at least one year.

                                    ii.         Was married before the end of a 15-year time span following the end of the period of military service during which an injury or disease was incurred or aggravated.

                                  iii.         Was married for any period if a child was born of the marriage or was born before the marriage.


Glossary of Terms

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