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INCOME AND ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION SYSTEM[90]

Sec1137[42 U.S.C. 1320b–7] (a) In order to meet the requirements of this section, a State must have in effect an income and eligibility verification system which meets the requirements of subsection (d) and under which—

(1) the State shall require, as a condition of eligibility for benefits under any program listed in subsection (b), that each applicant for or recipient of benefits under that program furnish to the State his social security account number (or numbers, if he has more than one such number), and the State shall utilize such account numbers in the administration of that program so as to enable the association of the records pertaining to the applicant or recipient with his account number;

(2) wage information from agencies administering State unemployment compensation laws available pursuant to section 3304(a)(16) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954[91], wage information reported pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection, and wage, income, and other information from the Social Security Administration and the Internal Revenue Service available pursuant to section 6103(l)(7) of such Code[92], shall be requested and utilized to the extent that such information may be useful in verifying eligibility for, and the amount of, benefits available under any program listed in subsection (b), as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (or, in the case of the unemployment compensation program, by the Secretary of Labor, or, in the case of the supplemental nutrition assistance program, by the Secretary of Agriculture);

(3) employers (as defined in section 453A(a)(2)(B)) (including State and local governmental entities and labor organizations) in such State are required, effective September 30, 1988, to make quarterly wage reports to a State agency (which may be the agency administering the State’s unemployment compensation law) except that the Secretary of Labor (in consultation with the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Secretary of Agriculture) may waive the provisions of this paragraph if he determines that the State has in effect an alternative system which is as effective and timely for purposes of providing employment related income and eligibility data for the purposes described in paragraph (2), and except that no report shall be filed with respect to an employee of a State or local agency performing intelligence or counterintelligence functions, if the head of such agency has determined that filing such a report could endanger the safety of the employee or compromise an ongoing investigation or intelligence mission, and except that in the case of wage reports with respect to domestic service employment, a State may permit employers (as so defined) that make returns with respect to such employment on a calendar year basis pursuant to section 3510 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to make such reports on an annual basis;

(4) the State agencies administering the programs listed in subsection (b) adhere to standardized formats and procedures established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services (in consultation with the Secretary of Agriculture) under which—

(A) the agencies will exchange with each other information in their possession which may be of use in establishing or verifying eligibility or benefit amounts under any other such program;

(B) such information shall be made available to assist in the child support program under part D of title IV of this Act, and to assist the Secretary of Health and Human Services in establishing or verifying eligibility or benefit amounts under titles II and XVI of this Act, but subject to the safeguards and restrictions established by the Secretary of the Treasury with respect to information released pursuant to section 6103(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954[93] and

(C) the use of such information shall be targeted to those uses which are most likely to be productive in identifying and preventing ineligibility and incorrect payments, and no State shall be required to use such information to verify the eligibility of all recipients;

(5) adequate safeguards are in effect so as to assure that—

(A) the information exchanged by the State agencies is made available only to the extent necessary to assist in the valid administrative needs of the program receiving such information, and the information released pursuant to section 6103(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 is only exchanged with agencies authorized to receive such information under such section 6103(l); and

(B) the information is adequately protected against unauthorized disclosure for other purposes, as provided in regulations established by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, or, in the case of the unemployment compensation program, the Secretary of Labor, or, in the case of the supplemental nutrition assistance program, the Secretary of Agriculture, or in the case of information released pursuant to section 6103(l) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954, the Secretary of the Treasury;

(6) all applicants for and recipients of benefits under any such program shall be notified at the time of application, and periodically thereafter, that information available through the system will be requested and utilized; and

(7) accounting systems are utilized which assure that programs providing data receive appropriate reimbursement from the programs utilizing the data for the costs incurred in providing the data.

(b) The programs which must participate in the income and eligibility verification system are—

(1) any State program funded under part A of title IV of this Act;

(2) the medicaid program under title XIX of this Act;

(3) the unemployment compensation program under section 3304 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954[94];

(4) the supplemental nutrition assistance program under the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008[95]; and

(5) any State program under a plan approved under title I, X, XIV, or XVI of this Act.

(c)(1) In order to protect applicants for and recipients of benefits under the programs identified in subsection (b), or under the supplemental security income program under title XVI, from the improper use of information obtained from the Secretary of the Treasury under section 6103(l)(7)(B) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954[96], no Federal, State, or local agency receiving such information may terminate, deny, suspend, or reduce any benefits of an individual until such agency has taken appropriate steps to independently verify information relating to—

(A) the amount of the asset or income involved,

(B) whether such individual actually has (or had) access to such asset or income for his own use, and

(C) the period or periods when the individual actually had such asset or income.

(2) Such individual shall be informed by the agency of the findings made by the agency on the basis of such verified information, and shall be given an opportunity to contest such findings, in the same manner as applies to other information and findings relating to eligibility factors under the program.

(d) The requirements of this subsection, with respect to an income and eligibility verification system of a State, are as follows:

(1)(A) The State shall require, as a condition of an individual’s eligibility for benefits under a program listed in subsection (b), a declaration in writing, under penalty of perjury—

(i) by the individual,

(ii) in the case in which eligibility for program benefits is determined on a family or household basis, by any adult member of such individual’s family or household (as applicable), or

(iii) in the case of an individual born into a family or household receiving benefits under such program, by any adult member or such family or household no later than the next redetermination of eligibility of such family or household following the birth of such individual,

stating whether the individual is a citizen or national of the United States, and, if that individual is not a citizen or national of the United States, that the individual is in a satisfactory immigration status.

(B) In this subsection, in the case of the program described in subsection (b)(4)—

(i) any reference to the State shall be considered a reference to the State agency, and

(ii) any reference to an individual’s eligibility for benefits under the program shall be considered a reference to the individual’s eligibility to participate in the program as a member of a household, and

(iii) the term “satisfactory immigration status” means an immigration status which does not make the individual ineligible for benefits under the applicable program.

(2) If such an individual is not a citizen or national of the United States, there must be presented either—

(A) alien registration documentation or other proof of immigration registration from the Immigration and Naturalization Service that contains the individual’s alien admission number or alien file number (or numbers if the individual has more than one number), or

(B) such other documents as the State determines constitutes reasonable evidence indicating a satisfactory immigration status.

(3) If the documentation described in paragraph (2)(A) is presented, the State shall utilize the individual’s alien file or alien admission number to verify with the Immigration and Naturalization Service the individual’s immigration status through an automated or other system (designated by the Service for use with States) that—

(A) utilizes the individual’s name, file number, admission number, or other means permitting efficient verification, and

(B) protects the individual’s privacy to the maximum degree possible.

(4) In the case of such an individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States, if, at the time of application for benefits, the statement described in paragraph (1) is submitted but the documentation required under paragraph (2) is not presented or if the documentation required under paragraph (2)(A) is presented but such documentation is not verified under paragraph (3)—

(A) the State—

(i) shall provide a reasonable opportunity to submit to the State evidence indicating a satisfactory immigration status, and

(ii) may not delay, deny, reduce, or terminate the individual’s eligibility for benefits under the program on the basis of the individual’s immigration status until such a reasonable opportunity has been provided; and

(B) if there are submitted documents which the State determines constitutes reasonable evidence indicating such status—

(i) the State shall transmit to the Immigration and Naturalization Service either photostatic or other similar copies of such documents, or information from such documents, as specified by the Immigration and Naturalization Service, for official verification,

(ii) pending such verification, the State may not delay, deny, reduce, or terminate the individual’s eligibility for benefits under the program on the basis of the individual’s immigration status, and

(iii) the State shall not be liable for the consequences of any action, delay, or failure of the Service to conduct such verification.

(5) If the State determines, after complying with the requirements of paragraph (4), that such an individual is not in a satisfactory immigration status under the applicable program—

(A) the State shall deny or terminate the individual’s eligibility for benefits under the program, and

(B) the applicable fair hearing process shall be made available with respect to the individual.

(e) Each Federal agency responsible for administration of a program described in subsection (b) shall not take any compliance, disallowance, penalty, or other regulatory action against a State with respect to any error in the State’s determination to make an individual eligible for benefits based on citizenship or immigration status—

(1) if the State has provided such eligibility based on a verification of satisfactory immigration status by the Immigration and Naturalization Service,

(2) because the State, under subsection (d)(4)(A)(ii), was required to provide a reasonable opportunity to submit documentation,

(3) because the State, under subsection (d)(4)(B)(ii), was required to wait for the response of the Immigration and Naturalization Service to the State’s request for official verification of the immigration status of the individual, or

(4) because of a fair hearing process described in subsection (d)(5)(B).

(f) Subsections (a)(1) and (d) shall not apply with respect to aliens seeking medical assistance for the treatment of an emergency medical condition under section 1903(v)(2).


[90]  See Vol. II, P.L. 103-432, §232, with respect to measurement and reporting of welfare receipt.

[91]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §3304(a).

[92]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §6103(l).

[93]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §6103(l).

[94]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §3304.

[95]  P.L. 88-525.

[96]  See Vol. II, P.L. 83-591, §6103(l)(7)(B).