P.L. 104–193, Approved August 22, 1996 (110 Stat. 2105)

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996

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SEC. 115. [21 U.S.C. 862a]  DENIAL OF ASSISTANCE AND BENEFITS FOR CERTAIN DRUG-RELATED CONVICTIONS.

(a)  In General.—An individual convicted (under Federal or State law) of any offense which is classified as a felony by the law of the jurisdiction involved and which has as an element the possession, use, or distribution of a controlled substance (as defined in section 102(6) of the Controlled Substances Act (21 U.S.C. 802(6)))[202] shall not be eligible for—

(1)  assistance under any State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act, or

(2)  benefits under the food stamp program[203] (as defined in section 3(l) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008[204]) or any State program carried out under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.

(b)  Effects on Assistance and Benefits for Others.—

(1)  Program of temporary assistance for needy families.—The amount of assistance otherwise required to be provided under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act to the family members of an individual to whom subsection (a) applies shall be reduced by the amount which would have otherwise been made available to the individual under such part.

(2)  Benefits under the food and nutrition act of 2008[205].—The amount of benefits otherwise required to be provided to a household under the food stamp program[206] (as defined in section 3(l), or any State program carried out under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, shall be determined by considering the individual to whom subsection (a) applies not to be a member of such household, except that the income and resources of the individual shall be considered to be income and resources of the household.

(c)  Enforcement.—A State that has not exercised its authority under subsection (d)(1)(A) shall require each individual applying for assistance or benefits referred to in subsection (a), during the application process, to state, in writing, whether the individual, or any member of the household of the individual, has been convicted of a crime described in subsection (a).

(d)  Limitations.—

(1)  State elections.—

(A)  Opt out.—A State may, by specific reference in a law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act, exempt any or all individuals domiciled in the State from the application of subsection (a).

(B)  Limit period of prohibition.—A State may, by law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act, limit the period for which subsection (a) shall apply to any or all individuals domiciled in the State.

(2)  Inapplicability to convictions occurring on or before enactment.—Subsection (a) shall not apply to convictions occurring on or before the date of the enactment of this Act.

(e)  Definitions of State.—For purposes of this section, the term “State” has the meaning given it—

(1)  in section 419(5) of the Social Security Act, when referring to assistance provided under a State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act, and

(2)  in section 3(s) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, when referring to the food stamp program (as defined in section 3(l) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008) or any State program carried out under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.

(f)  Rule of Interpretation.— Nothing in this section shall be construed to deny the following Federal benefits:

(1)  Emergency medical services under title XIX of the Social Security Act.

(2)  Short-term, noncash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.

(3) (A)  Public health assistance for immunizations.

(B)  Public health assistance for testing and treatment of communicable diseases if the Secretary of Health and Human Services determines that it is necessary to prevent the spread of such disease.

(4)  Prenatal care.

(5)  Job training programs.

(6)  Drug treatment programs.

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SEC. 400. [8 U.S.C. 1601] STATEMENTS OF NATIONAL POLICY CONCERNING WELFARE AND IMMIGRATION.

The Congress makes the following statements concerning national policy with respect to welfare and immigration:

(1)  Self-sufficiency has been a basic principle of United States immigration law since this country’s earliest immigration statutes.

(2)  It continues to be the immigration policy of the United States that—

(A)  aliens within the Nation’s borders not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities and the resources of their families, their sponsors, and private organizations, and

(B)  the availability of public benefits not constitute an incentive for immigration to the United States.

(3)  Despite the principle of self-sufficiency, aliens have been applying for and receiving public benefits from Federal, State, and local governments at increasing rates.

(4)  Current eligibility rules for public assistance and unenforceable financial support agreements have proved wholly incapable of assuring that individual aliens not burden the public benefits system.

(5)  It is a compelling government interest to enact new rules for eligibility and sponsorship agreements in order to assure that aliens be self-reliant in accordance with national immigration policy.

(6)  It is a compelling government interest to remove the incentive for illegal immigration provided by the availability of public benefits.

(7)  With respect to the State authority to make determinations concerning the eligibility of qualified aliens for public benefits in this title, a State that chooses to follow the Federal classification in determining the eligibility of such aliens for public assistance shall be considered to have chosen the least restrictive means available for achieving the compelling governmental interest of assuring that aliens be self-reliant in accordance with national immigration policy.

SEC. 401. [8 U.S.C. 1611] ALIENS WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED ALIENS INELIGIBLE FOR FEDERAL PUBLIC BENEFITS.

(a)  In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsection (b), an alien who is not a qualified alien (as defined in section 431) is not eligible for any Federal public benefit (as defined in subsection (c)).

(b) Exceptions.—

(1)  Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to the following Federal public benefits:

(A)  Medical assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act (or any successor program to such title) for care and services that are necessary for the treatment of an emergency medical condition (as defined in section 1903(v)(3) of such Act) of the alien involved and are not related to an organ transplant procedure, if the alien involved otherwise meets the eligibility requirements for medical assistance under the State plan approved under such title (other than the requirement of the receipt of aid or assistance under title IV of such Act, supplemental security income benefits under title XVI of such Act, or a State supplementary payment).

(B)  Short-term, non-cash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.

(C)  Public health assistance (not including any assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act) for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease.

(D)  Programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter) specified by the Attorney General, in the Attorney General’s sole and unreviewable discretion after consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and departments, which (i) deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies; (ii) do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient’s income or resources; and (iii) are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

(E)  Programs for housing or community development assistance or financial assistance administered by the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, any program under title V of the Housing Act of 1949, or any assistance under section 306C of the Consolidated Farm and Rural Development Act, to the extent that the alien is receiving such a benefit on the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)  Subsection (a) shall not apply to any benefit payable under title II of the Social Security Act to an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as determined by the Attorney General, to any benefit if nonpayment of such benefit would contravene an international agreement described in section 233 of the Social Security Act, to any benefit if nonpayment would be contrary to section 202(t) of the Social Security Act, or to any benefit payable under title II of the Social Security Act to which entitlement is based on an application filed in or before the month in which this Act becomes law.

(3)  Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any benefit payable under title XVIII of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1395 et seq.] (relating to the medicare program) to an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as determined by the Attorney General and, with respect to benefits payable under part A of such title [42 U.S.C. 1395c et seq.], who was authorized to be employed with respect to any wages attributable to employment which are counted for purposes of eligibility for such benefits.

(4)  Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to any benefit payable under the Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 [45 U.S.C. 231 et seq.] or the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act [45 U.S.C. 351 et seq.] to an alien who is lawfully present in the United States as determined by the Attorney General or to an alien residing outside the United States.

(5)  Subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to eligibility for benefits for the program defined in section 1612(a)(3)(A) of this title (relating to the supplemental security income program), or to eligibility for benefits under any other program that is based on eligibility for benefits under the program so defined, for an alien who was receiving such benefits on August 22, 1996.

(c) Federal Public Benefit Defined.—

(1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), for purposes of this title the term “Federal public benefit” means—

(A)  any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States; and

(B)  any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of the United States or by appropriated funds of the United States.

(2)  Such term shall not apply—

(A)  to any contract, professional license, or commercial license for a nonimmigrant whose visa for entry is related to such employment in the United States; or

(B)  with respect to benefits for an alien who as a work authorized nonimmigrant or as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act qualified for such benefits and for whom the United States under reciprocal treaty agreements is required to pay benefits, as determined by the Attorney General, after consultation with the Secretary of State.

(C)  to the issuance of a professional license to, or the renewal of a professional license by, a foreign national not physically present in the United States.

SEC. 402. [8 U.S.C. 1612] LIMITED ELIGIBILITY OF QUALIFIED ALIENS FOR CERTAIN FEDERAL PROGRAMS.

(a) Limited Eligibility for Specified Federal Programs.—

(1)  In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in paragraph (2), an alien who is a qualified alien (as defined in section 431) is not eligible for any specified Federal program (as defined in paragraph (3)).

(2) Exceptions.—

(A)  Time-limited exception for refugees and asylees.—With respect to the specified Federal programs described in paragraph (3), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien until 7 years after the date—

(i)  an alien is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act;

(ii)  an alien is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act; or

(iii)  an alien’s deportation is withheld under section 243(h) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1253] (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208) or section 241(b)(3) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)] (as amended by section 305(a) of division C of Public Law 104-208);

(iv)  an alien is granted status as a Cuban and Haitian entrant (as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980); or

(v)  an alien is admitted to the United States as an Amerasian immigrant pursuant to section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100-202 and amended by the 9th proviso under migration and refugee assistance in title II of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1989, Public Law 100-461, as amended).

(B)  Certain permanent resident aliens.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who—

(i)  is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act; and

(ii)  (I) has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 401 et seq.] or can be credited with such qualifying quarters as provided under section 1645 of this title, and (II) in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 1613 of this title) during any such period.

(II)  in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 403) during any such period.

(C)  Veteran and active duty exception.—Paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who is lawfully residing in any State and is—

(i)  a veteran (as defined in section 101, 1101, or 1301, or as described in section 107 of title 38) with a discharge characterized as an honorable discharge and not on account of alienage and who fulfills the minimum active-duty service requirements of section 5303A(d) of title 38,

(ii)  on active duty (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States, or

(iii)  the spouse or unmarried dependent child of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) or the unremarried surviving spouse of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) who is deceased if the marriage fulfills the requirements of section 1304 of title 38.

(D) Transition for aliens currently receiving benefits.—

(i) SSI.—

(I)  In general.—With respect to the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A), during the period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act and ending on the date which is 1 year after such date of enactment, the Commissioner of Social Security shall redetermine the eligibility of any individual who is receiving benefits under such program as of the date of the enactment of this Act and whose eligibility for such benefits may terminate by reason of the provisions of this subsection.

(II)  Redetermination criteria.—With respect to any redetermination under subclause (I), the Commissioner of Social Security shall apply the eligibility criteria for new applicants for benefits under such program.

(III)  Grandfather provision.—The provisions of this subsection and the redetermination under subclause (I), shall only apply with respect to the benefits of an individual described in subclause (I) for months beginning on or after September 30, 1998.

(IV)  Notice.—Not later than March 31, 1997, the Commissioner of Social Security shall notify an individual described in subclause (I) of the provisions of this clause.

(ii) supplemental nutrition assistance.—

(I)  In general.—With respect to the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), ineligibility under paragraph (1) shall not apply until April 1, 1997, to an alien who received benefits under such program on August 22, 1996, unless such alien is determined to be ineligible to receive such benefits under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 [7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.]. The State agency shall recertify the eligibility of all such aliens during the period beginning April 1, 1997, and ending August 22, 1997.

(II)  Recertification criteria.—With respect to any recertification under subclause (I), the State agency shall apply the eligibility criteria for applicants for benefits under such program.

(III)  Grandfather provision.—The provisions of this subsection and the recertification under subclause (I) shall only apply with respect to the eligibility of an alien for a program for months beginning on or after the date of recertification, if on the date of enactment of this Act the alien is lawfully residing in any State and is receiving benefits under such program on such date of enactment.

(E)  Aliens receiving ssi on august 22, 1996.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the program defined in paragraph (3)(A) (relating to the supplemental security income program), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who is lawfully residing in the United States and who was receiving such benefits on August 22, 1996.

(F)  Disabled aliens lawfully residing on august 22, 1996.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal programs described in paragraph (3), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien who—

(i)  in the case of the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A)

(I)  was lawfully residing in the United States on August 22, 1996; and

(II)  is blind or disabled (as defined in paragraph (2) or (3) of section 1614(a) of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1382c(a))); and

(ii)  in the case of the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), is receiving benefits or assistance for blindness or disability (within the meaning of section 3(j) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 1977 (7 U.S.C. 2012(r))).

(G)  Exception for certain indians.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal programs described in paragraph (3), section 1611(a) of this title and paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual—

(i)  who is an American Indian born in Canada to whom the provisions of section 289 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1359) apply; or

(ii)  who is a member of an Indian tribe (as defined in section 450b(e) of title 25).

(H)  SSI exception for certain recipients on the basis of very old applications.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the program defined in paragraph (3)(A) (relating to the supplemental security income program), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual—

(i)  who is receiving benefits under such program for months after July 1996 on the basis of an application filed before January 1, 1979; and

(ii)  with respect to whom the Commissioner of Social Security lacks clear and convincing evidence that such individual is an alien ineligible for such benefits as a result of the application of this section.

(I)  Supplemental nutrition assistance exception for certain elderly individuals.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual who on August 22, 1996—

(i)  was lawfully residing in the United States; and

(ii)  was 65 years of age or older.

(J)  Supplemental nutrition assistance exception for certain children.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual who is under 18 years of age.

(K)  Supplemental nutrition assistance exception for certain hmong and highland laotians.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), paragraph (1) shall not apply to—

(i)  any individual who—

(I)  is lawfully residing in the United States; and

(II)  was a member of a Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe at the time that the tribe rendered assistance to United States personnel by taking part in a military or rescue operation during the Vietnam era (as defined in section 101 of title 38);

(ii)  the spouse, or an unmarried dependent child, of such an individual; or

(iii)  the unremarried surviving spouse of such an individual who is deceased.

(L)  supplemental nutrition assistance exception for certain qualified aliens.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(B), paragraph (1) shall not apply to any qualified alien who has resided in the United States with a status within the meaning of the term “qualified alien” for a period of 5 years or more beginning on the date of the alien’s entry into the United States.

(M)  SSI extensions for humanitarian immigrants.

(i)  Two-year extension for certain aliens and victims of trafficking.—

(I)  In general.—Subject to clause (ii), with respect to eligibility for benefits under subparagraph (A) for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A) of qualified aliens (as defined in section 431(b)) and victims of trafficking in persons (as defined in section 107(b)(1)(C) of division A of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-386) or as granted status under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), the 7-year period described in subparagraph (A) shall be deemed to be a 9-year period during fiscal years 2009 through 2011 in the case of such a qualified alien or victim of trafficking who furnishes to the Commissioner of Social Security the declaration required under subclause (IV) (if applicable) and is described in subclause (III).

(II)  Aliens and victims whose benefits ceased in prior fiscal years.—Subject to clause (ii), beginning on the date of the enactment of the SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act, any qualified alien (as defined in section 431(b)) or victim of trafficking in persons (as defined in section 107(b)(1)(C) of division A of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-386) or as granted status under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act) rendered ineligible for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A) during the period beginning on August 22, 1996, and ending on September 30, 2008, solely by reason of the termination of the 7-year period described in subparagraph (A) shall be eligible for such program for an additional 2-year period in accordance with this clause, if such qualified alien or victim of trafficking meets all other eligibility factors under title XVI of the Social Security Act, furnishes to the Commissioner of Social Security the declaration required under subclause (IV) (if applicable), and is described in subclause (III).

(III)  Aliens and victims described.—For purposes of subclauses (I) and (II), a qualified alien or victim of trafficking described in this subclause is an alien or victim who—

(aa)  has been a lawful permanent resident for less than 6 years and such status has not been abandoned, rescinded under section 246 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or terminated through removal proceedings under section 240 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, and the Commissioner of Social Security has verified such status, through procedures established in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security;

(bb)  has filed an application, within 4 years from the date the alien or victim began receiving supplemental security income benefits, to become a lawful permanent resident with the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Commissioner of Social Security has verified, through procedures established in consultation with such Secretary, that such application is pending;

(cc)  has been granted the status of Cuban and Haitian entrant, as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-422), for purposes of the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A);

(dd)  has had his or her deportation withheld by the Secretary of Homeland Security under section 243(h) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208), or whose removal is withheld under section 241(b)(3) of such Act;

(ee)  has not attained age 18; or

(ff)  has attained age 70.

(IV) Declaration required.—

(aa)  In general.—For purposes of subclauses (I) and (II), the declaration required under this subclause of a qualified alien or victim of trafficking described in either such subclause is a declaration under penalty of perjury stating that the alien or victim has made a good faith effort to pursue United States citizenship, as determined by the Secretary of Homeland Security. The Commissioner of Social Security shall develop criteria as needed, in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, for consideration of such declarations.

(bb)  Exception for children.—A qualified alien or victim of trafficking described in subclause (I) or (II) who has not attained age 18 shall not be required to furnish to the Commissioner of Social Security a declaration described in item (aa) as a condition of being eligible for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A) for an additional 2-year period in accordance with this clause.

(V)  Payment of benefits to aliens whose benefits ceased in prior fiscal years.—Benefits paid to a qualified alien or victim described in subclause (II) shall be paid prospectively over the duration of the qualified alien’s or victim’s renewed eligibility.

(ii)  Special rule in case of pending or approved naturalization application.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the specified program described in paragraph (3)(A), paragraph (1) shall not apply during fiscal years 2009 through 2011 to an alien described in one of clauses (i) through (v) of subparagraph (A) or a victim of trafficking in persons (as defined in section 107(b)(1)(C) of division A of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-386) or as granted status under section 101(a)(15)(T)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), if such alien or victim (including any such alien or victim rendered ineligible for the specified Federal program described in paragraph (3)(A) during the period beginning on August 22, 1996, and ending on September 30, 2008, solely by reason of the termination of the 7-year period described in subparagraph (A)) has filed an application for naturalization that is pending before the Secretary of Homeland Security or a United States district court based on section 336(b) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, or has been approved for naturalization but not yet sworn in as a United States citizen, and the Commissioner of Social Security has verified, through procedures established in consultation with the Secretary of Homeland Security, that such application is pending or has been approved.

(3)  Specified federal program defined.—For purposes of this title, the term “specified Federal program” means any of the following:

(A)  SSI.—The supplemental security income program under title XVI of the Social Security Act, including supplementary payments pursuant to an agreement for Federal administration under section 1616(a) of the Social Security Act and payments pursuant to an agreement entered into under section 212(b) of Public Law 93-66[207].

(B)  Supplemental nutrition assistance.—The food stamp program as defined in section 3(l) of the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008.

(b)  Limited Eligibility for Designated Federal Programs.—

(1)  In general.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in section 403 and paragraph (2), a State is authorized to determine the eligibility of an alien who is a qualified alien (as defined in section 431) for any designated Federal program (as defined in paragraph (3)).

(2)  Exceptions.—Qualified aliens under this paragraph shall be eligible for any designated Federal program.

(A)  Time-limited exception for refugees and asylees.—

(i)  Medicaid.—With respect to the designated Federal program described in paragraph (3)(C), paragraph (1) shall not apply to an alien until 7 years after the date—

(I)  an alien is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act[208] [8 U.S.C. 1157];

(II)  an alien is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1158];

(III)  an alien’s deportation is withheld under section 243(h) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1253] (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208) or section 241(b)(3) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)] (as amended by section 305(a) of division C of Public Law 104-208);

(IV)  an alien is granted status as a Cuban and Haitian entrant (as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980); or

(V)  an alien[209] admitted to the United States as an Amerasian immigrant as described in subsection (a)(2)(A)(i)(V) of this section until 5 years after the date of such alien’s entry into the United States.

(B)  Certain permanent resident aliens.—An alien who—

(i)  is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.]; and

(ii) (I)  has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act or can be credited with such qualifying quarters as provided under section 435, and

(II)  in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 403) during any such period.

(C)  Veteran and active duty exception.—An alien who is lawfully residing in any State and is—

(i)  a veteran (as defined in section 101, 1101, or 1301, or as described in section 107 of title 38) with a discharge characterized as an honorable discharge and not on account of alienage and who fulfills the minimum active-duty service requirements of section 5303A(d) of title 38,

(ii)  on active duty (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States, or

(iii)  the spouse or unmarried dependent child of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) or the unremarried surviving spouse of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii) who is deceased if the marriage fulfills the requirements of section 1304 of title 38.

(D)  Transition for those currently receiving benefits.—An alien who on the date of the enactment of this Act[210] is lawfully residing in any State and is receiving benefits under such program on the date of the enactment of this Act shall continue to be eligible to receive such benefits until January 1, 1997.

(E)  Medicaid exception for certain indians.—With respect to eligibility for benefits for the program defined in paragraph (3)(C) (relating to the medicaid program), section 1611(a) of this title and paragraph (1) shall not apply to any individual described in subsection (a)(2)(G) of this section.

(F)  Medicaid exception for aliens receiving ssi.—An alien who is receiving benefits under the program defined in subsection (a)(3)(A) of this section (relating to the supplemental security income program) shall be eligible for medical assistance under a State plan under title XIX of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.) under the same terms and conditions that apply to other recipients of benefits under the program defined in such subsection.

(3)  Designated federal program defined.—For purposes of this title, the term “designated Federal program” means any of the following:

(A)  Temporary assistance for needy families.—The program of block grants to States for temporary assistance for needy families under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act.

(B)  Social services block grant.—The program of block grants to States for social services under title XX of the Social Security Act.

(C)  Medicaid.—A State plan approved under title XIX of the Social Security Act, other than medical assistance described in section 401(b)(1)(A).

SEC. 403. [8 U.S.C. 1613] FIVE-YEAR LIMITED ELIGIBILITY OF QUALIFIED ALIENS FOR FEDERAL MEANS-TESTED PUBLIC BENEFIT.

(a)  In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsections (b), (c), and (d) of this section, an alien who is a qualified alien (as defined in section 1641 of this title) and who enters the United States on or after August 22, 1996, is not eligible for any Federal means-tested public benefit for a period of 5 years beginning on the date of the alien’s entry into the United States with a status within the meaning of the term “qualified alien”.

(b)  Exceptions.—The limitation under subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to the following aliens:

(1)  Exception for refugees and asylees.—

(A)  An alien who is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1157].

(B)  An alien who is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1158].

(C)  An alien whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1253] (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208) or section 241(b)(3) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)] (as amended by section 305(a) of division C of Public Law 104-208).

(D)  An alien who is a Cuban and Haitian entrant as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980.

(E)  An alien admitted to the United States as an Amerasian immigrant as described in section 1612(a)(2)(A)(i)(V) of this title.

(2)  Veteran and active duty exception.—An alien who is lawfully residing in any State and is—

(A)  a veteran (as defined in section 101, 1101, or 1301, or as described in section 107 of title 38) with a discharge characterized as an honorable discharge and not on account of alienage and who fulfills the minimum active-duty service requirements of section 5303A(d) of title 38,

(B)  on active duty (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States, or

(C)  the spouse or unmarried dependent child of an individual described in subparagraph (A) or (B) or the unremarried surviving spouse of an individual described in clause (i) or (ii)[211] who is deceased if the marriage fulfills the requirements of section 1304 of title 38.

(c)  Application of Term Federal Means-Tested Public Benefit.—

(1)  The limitation under subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to assistance or benefits under paragraph (2).

(2)  Assistance and benefits under this paragraph are as follows:

(A)  Medical assistance described in section 411(b)(1)(A) of this title.

(B)  Short-term, non-cash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.

(C)  Assistance or benefits under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act [42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq.].

(D)  Assistance or benefits under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 [42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq.].

(E)  Public health assistance (not including any assistance under title XIX of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1396 et seq.]) for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease.

(F)  Payments for foster care and adoption assistance under parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 620 et seq., 670 et seq.] for a parent or a child who would, in the absence of subsection (a) of this section, be eligible to have such payments made on the child’s behalf under such part, but only if the foster or adoptive parent (or parents) of such child is a qualified alien (as defined in section 1641 of this title).

(G)  Programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter) specified by the Attorney General, in the Attorney General’s sole and unreviewable discretion after consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and departments, which (i) deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies; (ii) do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient’s income or resources; and (iii) are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

(H)  Programs of student assistance under titles IV, V, IX, and X of the Higher Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 1070 et seq., 1101 et seq., 1134 et seq., 1135 et seq., 42 U.S.C. 2751 et seq.], and titles III, VII, and VIII of the Public Health Service Act [42 U.S.C. 241 et seq., 292 et seq., 296 et seq.].

(I)  Means-tested programs under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 [20 U.S.C. 6301 et seq.].

(J)  Benefits under the Head Start Act [42 U.S.C. 9831 et seq.].

(K)  Benefits under the[212] title I of the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 [29 U.S.C. 2801 et seq.

(L)  Assistance or benefits provided to individuals under the age of 18 under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.).

(d)  Benefits of Certain Groups.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the limitations under section 401(a) of this title and subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to—

(1)  an individual described in section 402(a)(2)(G) of this title, but only with respect to the programs specified in subsections (a)(3) and (b)(3)(C) of section 402 of this title; or

(2)  an individual, spouse, or dependent described in section 402(a)(2)(K) of this title, but only with respect to the specified Federal program described in section 402(a)(3)(B) of this title.

SEC. 404. [8 U.S.C. 1614] NOTIFICATION AND INFORMATION REPORTING.

(a)  Notification.—Each Federal agency that administers a program to which section 401, 402, or 403 of this Act applies shall, directly or through the States, post information and provide general notification to the public and to program recipients of the changes regarding eligibility for any such program pursuant to this subtitle.

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SEC. 411. [8 U.S.C. 1621] ALIENS WHO ARE NOT QUALIFIED ALIENS OR NONIMMIGRANTS INELIGIBLE FOR STATE AND LOCAL PUBLIC BENEFITS.

(a)  In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsections (b) and (d), an alien who is not—

(1)  a qualified alien (as defined in section 431of this title),

(2)  a nonimmigrant under the Immigration and Nationality Act, or

(3)  an alien who is paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of such Act for less than one year,

is not eligible for any State or local public benefit (as defined in subsection (c)).

(b)  Exceptions.—Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to the following State or local public benefits:

(1)  Assistance for health care items and services that are necessary for the treatment of an emergency medical condition (as defined in section 1903(v)(3) of the Social Security Act) of the alien involved and are not related to an organ transplant procedure.

(2)  Short-term, non-cash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.

(3)  Public health assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease.

(4)  Programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter) specified by the Attorney General, in the Attorney General’s sole and unreviewable discretion after consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and departments, which (A) deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies; (B) do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient’s income or resources; and (C) are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

(c)  State or Local Public Benefit Defined.—

(1)  Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3), for purposes of this subtitle the term “State or local public benefit” means—

(A)  any grant, contract, loan, professional license, or commercial license provided by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government; and

(B)  any retirement, welfare, health, disability, public or assisted housing, postsecondary education, food assistance, unemployment benefit, or any other similar benefit for which payments or assistance are provided to an individual, household, or family eligibility unit by an agency of a State or local government or by appropriated funds of a State or local government.

(2)  Such term shall not apply—

(A)  to any contract, professional license, or commercial license for a nonimmigrant whose visa for entry is related to such employment in the United States, or to a citizen of a freely associated state, if section 141 of the applicable compact of free association approved in Public Law 99-239 or 99-658 (or a successor provision) is in effect;

(B)  with respect to benefits for an alien who as a work authorized nonimmigrant or as an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act qualified for such benefits and for whom the United States under reciprocal treaty agreements is required to pay benefits, as determined by the Secretary of State, after consultation with the Attorney General.

(3)  Such term does not include any Federal public benefit under section 401(c).

(d)  State Authority to Provide for Eligibility of Illegal Aliens for State and Local Public Benefits.—A State may provide that an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States is eligible for any State or local public benefit for which such alien would otherwise be ineligible under subsection (a) only through the enactment of a State law after the date of the enactment of this Act which affirmatively provides for such eligibility.

SEC. 412. [8 U.S.C. 1622] STATE AUTHORITY TO LIMIT ELIGIBILITY OF QUALIFIED ALIENS FOR STATE PUBLIC BENEFITS.

(a)  In General.— Notwithstanding any other provision of law and except as provided in subsection (b), a State is authorized to determine the eligibility for any State public benefits of an alien who is a qualified alien (as defined in section 431), a nonimmigrant under the Immigration and Nationality Act, or an alien who is paroled into the United States under section 212(d)(5) of such Act for less than one year.

(b)  Exceptions.—Qualified aliens under this subsection shall be eligible for any State public benefits.

(1)  Time-limited exception for refugees and asylees.—

(A)  An alien who is admitted to the United States as a refugee under section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act until 5 years after the date of an alien’s entry into the United States.

(B)  An alien who is granted asylum under section 208 of such Act until 5 years after the date of such grant of asylum.

(C)  An alien whose deportation is being withheld under section 243(h) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1253] (as in effect immediately before the effective date of section 307 of division C of Public Law 104-208) or section 241(b)(3) of such Act [8 U.S.C. 1231(b)(3)] (as amended by section 305(a) of division C of Public Law 104-208) until 5 years after such withholding.

(D)  An alien who is a Cuban and Haitian entrant as defined in section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 until 5 years after the alien is granted such status.

(E)  An alien admitted to the United States as an Amerasian immigrant as described in section 412(a)(2)(A)(i)(V)[213] of this title.

(2)  Certain permanent resident aliens.—An alien who—

(A)  is lawfully admitted to the United States for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act; and

(B)  (i) has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act or can be credited with such qualifying quarters as provided under section 435, and (ii) in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 403 of this title) during any such period.

(3)  Veteran and active duty exception.—An alien who is lawfully residing in any State and is—

(A)  a veteran (as defined in section 101 of title 38, United States Code) with a discharge characterized as an honorable discharge and not on account of alienage,

(B)  on active duty (other than active duty for training) in the Armed Forces of the United States, or

(C)  the spouse or unmarried dependent child of an individual described in subparagraph (A) or (B).

(4)  Transition for those currently receiving benefits.—An alien who on August 22, 1996, is lawfully residing in any State and is receiving benefits on August 22, 1996, shall continue to be eligible to receive such benefits until January 1, 1997.

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SEC. 421. [8 U.S.C. 1631] FEDERAL ATTRIBUTION OF SPONSOR’S INCOME AND RESOURCES TO ALIEN.

(a)  In General.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, in determining the eligibility and the amount of benefits of an alien for any Federal means-tested public benefits program (as provided under section 403), the income and resources of the alien shall be deemed to include the following:

(1)  The income and resources of any person who executed an affidavit of support pursuant to section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1183a] (as added by section 423 and as amended by section 551(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996) on behalf of such alien.

(2)  The income and resources of the spouse (if any) of the person.

(b)  Duration of Attribution Period.—Subsection (a) shall apply with respect to an alien until such time as the alien—

(1)  achieves United States citizenship through naturalization pursuant to chapter 2 of title III of the Immigration and Nationality Act; or

(2)  (A) has worked 40 qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act or can be credited with such qualifying quarters as provided under section 435, and (B) in the case of any such qualifying quarter creditable for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, did not receive any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 403) during any such period.

(c)  Review of Income and Resources of Alien Upon Reapplication.—Whenever an alien is required to reapply for benefits under any Federal means-tested public benefits program, the applicable agency shall review the income and resources attributed to the alien under subsection (a).

(d) Application.—

(1)  If on the date of the enactment of this Act, a Federal means-tested public benefits program attributes a sponsor’s income and resources to an alien in determining the alien’s eligibility and the amount of benefits for an alien, this section shall apply to any such determination beginning on the day after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(2)  If on the date of the enactment of this Act, a Federal means-tested public benefits program does not attribute a sponsor’s income and resources to an alien in determining the alien’s eligibility and the amount of benefits for an alien, this section shall apply to any such determination beginning 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(3)  This section shall not apply to assistance or benefits under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008(7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.) to the extent that a qualified alien is eligible under section 412(a)(2)(J) of this title.

(e)  Indigence Exception.—

(1)  In general.—For an alien for whom an affidavit of support under section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act [8 U.S.C. 1183a] has been executed, if a determination described in paragraph (2) is made, the amount of income and resources of the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse which shall be attributed to the sponsored alien shall not exceed the amount actually provided for a period beginning on the date of such determination and ending 12 months after such date.

(2)  Determination described.—A determination described in this paragraph is a determination by an agency that a sponsored alien would, in the absence of the assistance provided by the agency, be unable to obtain food and shelter, taking into account the alien’s own income, plus any cash, food, housing, or other assistance provided by other individuals, including the sponsor. The agency shall notify the Attorney General of each such determination, including the names of the sponsor and the sponsored alien involved.

(f)  Special Rule for Battered Spouse and Child.—

(1)  In general.—

(A)  during a 12 month period if the alien demonstrates that (i) the alien has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by a spouse or a parent, or by a member of the spouse or parent’s family residing in the same household as the alien and the spouse or parent consented to or acquiesced to such battery or cruelty, (ii) the alien’s child has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by the spouse or parent of the alien (without the active participation of the alien in the battery or cruelty), or by a member of the spouse’s or parent’s family residing in the same household as the alien when the spouse or parent consented or acquiesced to and the alien did not actively participate in such battery or cruelty, or (iii) the alien is a child whose parent (who resides in the same household as the alien child) has been battered or subjected to extreme cruelty in the United States by that parent’s spouse, or by a member of the spouse’s family residing in the same household as the parent and the spouse consented to, or acquiesced in, such battery or cruelty, and the battery or cruelty described in clause (i), (ii), or (iii) (in the opinion of the agency providing such public benefits, which opinion is not subject to review by any court) has a substantial connection to the need for the public benefits applied for; and

(B)  after a 12 month period (regarding the batterer’s income and resources only) if the alien demonstrates that such battery or cruelty under subparagraph (A) has been recognized in an order of a judge or administrative law judge or a prior determination of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and that such battery or cruelty (in the opinion of the agency providing such public benefits, which opinion is not subject to review by any court) has a substantial connection to the need for the benefits.

(2)  Limitation.—The exception under paragraph (1) shall not apply to benefits for an alien during any period in which the individual responsible for such battery or cruelty resides in the same household or family eligibility unit as the individual who was subjected to such battery or cruelty.

SEC. 422. [8 U.S.C. 1632] AUTHORITY FOR STATES TO PROVIDE FOR ATTRIBUTION OF SPONSORS INCOME AND RESOURCES TO THE ALIEN WITH RESPECT TO STATE PROGRAMS.

(a)  Optional Application to State Programs.—Except as provided in subsection (b), in determining the eligibility and the amount of benefits of an alien for any State public benefits (as defined in section 412(c)), the State or political subdivision that offers the benefits is authorized to provide that the income and resources of the alien shall be deemed to include—

(1)  the income and resources of any individual who executed an affidavit of support pursuant to section 213A of this Act (as added by section 423 and as amended by section 551(a) of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996) on behalf of such alien, and

(2)  the income and resources of the spouse (if any) of the individual.

(b)  Exceptions.—Subsection (a) shall not apply with respect to the following State public benefits:

(1)  Assistance described in section 411(b)(1).

(2)  Short-term, non-cash, in-kind emergency disaster relief.

(3)  Programs comparable to assistance or benefits under the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act.

(4)  Programs comparable to assistance or benefits under the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

(5)  Public health assistance for immunizations with respect to immunizable diseases and for testing and treatment of symptoms of communicable diseases whether or not such symptoms are caused by a communicable disease.

(6)  Payments for foster care and adoption assistance.

(7)  Programs, services, or assistance (such as soup kitchens, crisis counseling and intervention, and short-term shelter) specified by the Attorney General of a State, after consultation with appropriate agencies and departments, which (A) deliver in-kind services at the community level, including through public or private nonprofit agencies; (B) do not condition the provision of assistance, the amount of assistance provided, or the cost of assistance provided on the individual recipient’s income or resources; and (C) are necessary for the protection of life or safety.

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SEC. 435. [8 U.S.C. 1645] QUALIFYING QUARTERS.

For purposes of this title, in determining the number of qualifying quarters of coverage under title II of the Social Security Act an alien shall be credited with—

(1)  all of the qualifying quarters of coverage as defined under title II of the Social Security Act worked by a parent of such alien while the alien was under age 18, and

(2)  all of the qualifying quarters worked by a spouse of such alien during their marriage and the alien remains married to such spouse or such spouse is deceased.

No such qualifying quarter of coverage that is creditable under title II of the Social Security Act for any period beginning after December 31, 1996, may be credited to an alien under paragraph (1) or (2) if the parent or spouse (as the case may be) of such alien received any Federal means-tested public benefit (as provided under section 1613 of this title) during the period for which such qualifying quarter of coverage is so credited. Notwithstanding section 6103 of title 26, the Commissioner of Social Security is authorized to disclose quarters of coverage information concerning an alien and an alien’s spouse or parents to a government agency for the purposes of this chapter.

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SEC. 911. [42 U.S.C. 608a note] FRAUD UNDER MEANS-TESTED WELFARE AND PUBLIC ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS.

(a)  In General.—If an individual’s benefits under a Federal, State, or local law relating to a means-tested welfare or a public assistance program are reduced because of an act of fraud by the individual under the law or program, the individual may not, for the duration of the reduction, receive an increased benefit under any other means-tested welfare or public assistance program for which Federal funds are appropriated as a result of a decrease in the income of the individual (determined under the applicable program) attributable to such reduction.

(b)  Welfare or Public Assistance Programs for Which Federal Funds Are Appropriated.—For purposes of subsection (a), the term “means-tested welfare or public assistance program for which Federal funds are appropriated” includes the food stamp program[214] under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et seq.), any program of public or assisted housing under title I of the United States Housing Act of 1937 (42 U.S.C. 1437 et seq.), and any State program funded under part A of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 601 et seq.).

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[Internal References.—SSAct §1931(i) cites §116 of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. SSAct Titles II, IV Parts A, B, and E, XVI, and XIX and §§205(a) and 408(e) have footnotes referring to P.L. 104-193.]



[202]  P.L. 91-513; 84 Stat. 1236.

[203]  P.L. 110-246, §4002(c), provided that “Any reference in any Federal, State, tribal, or local law (including regulations) to the “food stamp program” established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et.seq.) shall be considered to be a reference to the “supplemental nutrition assistance program” established under that Act.”.

[204]  P.L. 88-525; 78 Stat. 703.

[205]  P.L. 88-525; 78 Stat. 703.

[206]  P.L. 110-246, §4002(c), provided that “Any reference in any Federal, State, tribal, or local law (including regulations) to the “food stamp program” established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et.seq.) shall be considered to be a reference to the “supplemental nutrition assistance program” established under that Act.”.

[207]  See P.L. 93-66, §212(b) (this Volume).

[208]  See P.L. 82-414 (this Volume).

[209]  As in original. Probably should be “alien is”.

[210]  August 26, 1996.

[211]  As in original. Probably should be “subparagraph (A) or (B)”.

[212]  As in original. The word “the” probably should not appear.

[213]  As in original. Probably should be “subparagraph (A) or (B)”.

[214]  P.L. 110-246, §4002(c), provided that “Any reference in any Federal, State, tribal, or local law (including regulations) to the “food stamp program” established under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 2011 et.seq.) shall be considered to be a reference to the “supplemental nutrition assistance program” established under that Act.”.