Department of Human Services

Food Stamp Online  Policy Manual

Citizenship and Alien Status Requirement





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Victims of trafficking who are certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services are eligible for food stamps to the same extent as refugees. Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines the severe forms of trafficking in persons as:


·        sex trafficking which is induced by force, fraud or coercion or the person has not reached 18; or

·        recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage or slavery.


The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has sole responsibility for determining whether an individual is a trafficking victim. The ORR will issue adult victims a certified letter. Children under 18 do not have to have a certified letter but will be issued a letter by ORR. The letters have an expiration date and eligibility should be reviewed at that time. Letters can be re-authorized for victims.


Victims of trafficking do not need to hold a certain immigration status to receive food stamps but must have certified letters or letters for minors by the ORR. Before victims can receive benefits, the caseworker must call the toll-free trafficking victim verification line to verify the validity of ORR-issued letters and also to inform ORR of the benefits for which a victim has applied.  The trafficking victims’ verification toll-free number is 1-866-401-5510. 


Glossary of Terms

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