340:50-5-49. Sponsored aliens
(a) Sponsored alien definition. A sponsored alien is an eligible and qualified alien, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-5-67, whose sponsor executed an affidavit of support, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Form I-864, Affidavit of Support Under Section 213A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), or Form I-864A, Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member, on behalf of the alien, per Section 213A of the INA and Section 273.4(c) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 C.F.R. § 273.4(c). A sponsored alien is subject to deeming requirements, per (d) of this Section, unless he or she meets an exemption criteria, per (b) of this Section. • 1
(b) Sponsored aliens exempt from deeming. Sponsored aliens exempt from income and resource deeming requirements include:
(1) aliens who are a battered spouse, parent of a battered child, or child of a battered person when they live in a separate residence from the person responsible for the battery and, the battering is substantially connected to the need for benefits. The worker grants the exemption for a 12-month period. After the 12-month exemption period expires, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) continues to not deem the batterer's income or resources to the sponsored alien, when:
(A) the battery is recognized by a court or the USCIS;
(B) OKDHS determines that the battery has a substantial connection to the need for benefits; and
(C) the sponsored alien does not live with the batterer;
(2) aliens who are members of their sponsor's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefit household as the sponsor's income already counts. When the sponsor receives food benefits in another household, the sponsor's income and resources must be deemed;
(3) aliens who are not required to have a sponsor under the INA, such as refugees, parolees, asylees, and Cuban or Haitian entrants;
(4) sponsored alien children or a sponsored alien's citizen children, who are younger than 18 years of age;
(5) aliens sponsored by an organization or group instead of a person; or
(6) indigent aliens. An indigent alien is an alien that OKDHS determines is unable to obtain food and shelter after taking into account his or her own income plus any cash, food, housing, or other assistance provided by the sponsor or other persons. • 2
(A) The "unable to obtain food and shelter" phrase means that the sum of the sponsored alien's household's own income and the cash and in-kind assistance provided by the sponsor or others does not exceed 130 percent of the poverty level income guidelines by household size, per OKDHS Appendix C-3, Maximum Food Benefit Allotments and Standards for Income and Deductions. When determining indigence, the worker considers the sponsored alien's income and other assistance provided in the month of application.
(B) Before making an indigent determination, the worker must:
(i) explain the purpose of the determination to the sponsored alien or his or her authorized representative, including the requirement to send a written notice of the determination to the United States (U.S.) Attorney General; and
(ii) give the person the opportunity to refuse the determination.
(C) When the sponsored alien refuses to have an indigence determination made because of the U.S. Attorney General reporting requirement, the worker informs the alien that he or she may:
(i) refuse food benefits for himself or herself without withdrawing the entire household's application. When the alien chooses this option, he or she is considered an ineligible alien and his or her income is prorated among all household members, per OAC 340:50-7-29(d)(2), without consideration of the sponsor's or sponsor's spouse's income; or
(ii) have his or her eligibility and benefits determined based on the deeming formula, per (d) of this Section.
(D) When the alien consents to the indigent determination and reporting requirement and is considered indigent, per (A) of this paragraph, the worker only deems the amount of assistance actually provided, beginning with the determination date and ending 12 months after this date. Each indigence determination may be renewed for additional 12-month periods. OKDHS notifies the U.S. Attorney General of each indigence determination and the sponsor's and sponsored alien's names. • 3
(c) Eligible sponsored alien responsibilities. When the sponsored alien is subject to deeming, he or she is responsible for:• 4
(1) providing OKDHS with information and documentation necessary to determine eligibility, per OAC 340:50-3-3, and calculate income and resources, per (d) of this Section at application and certification renewal;
(2) providing documents showing the INA under which the alien was admitted, his or her entry date into the U.S., birthdate, birthplace, and alien registration number;
(3) providing the sponsor's and sponsor's spouse's names, address, phone numbers, and the number of dependents claimed on the sponsored alien's tax return;
(4) providing the names and other identifying factors regarding any other aliens for whom the sponsor signed an affidavit of support, per (a) of this Section; and
(5) reporting required changes that occur during the certification period, per OAC 340:50-9-5, which may include:
(A) information about a new sponsor and the sponsor's spouse when the sponsored alien obtains a new sponsor during the certification period;
(B) a change in income if the sponsor or sponsor's spouse changes or loses employment; or
(C) the death of the sponsor or sponsor's spouse.
(d) Deeming requirements. When the sponsored alien is not exempt from deeming requirements, in addition to his or her own income and resources, the worker counts the income and resources of the sponsor and his or her spouse as the unearned income and resources of the sponsored alien. The worker counts the income of the sponsor's spouse even when the marriage occurred after the sponsor signed an agreement to support the sponsored alien.
(1) The total monthly earned and unearned income of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse must be deemed to the sponsored alien minus:
(A) income exclusions, per OAC 340:50-7-22;
(B) the earned income deduction for the earned income portion of the sponsor's and sponsor's spouse's income, per OAC 340:50-7-31(a)(2); and
(C) an amount equal to the monthly gross income eligibility limit, per OKDHS Appendix C-3, for a household size equal to the sponsor, the sponsor's spouse, and any other person claimed, or who could be claimed as a dependent for federal income tax purposes.
(2) Any money the sponsor pays the sponsored alien is also countable when it exceeds the amount deemed per (1) of this subsection.
(3) When the sponsored alien already reported the gross income and resources of the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse for another Adult and Family Services administered assistance program, that income amount may be used for SNAP food benefit purposes. The only allowable income reductions are those allowed, per (c)(1) of this Section.
(4) The total countable resources of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse less $1,500 are deemed to the sponsored alien. Refer to OAC 340:50-7-6 to determine the countable and excluded resources for the sponsored alien and his or her sponsor and sponsor's spouse and OKDHS Appendix C-3 for the maximum resource standard.
(5) When the sponsored alien verifies that his or her sponsor is the sponsor of other aliens, the worker divides the income and resources deemed, per (1) and (4) of this subsection by the number of such sponsored aliens. The worker uses this same procedure to determine the amount of deemed income and resources to exclude when a sponsored alien or a sponsored alien's citizen child is exempt from deeming per (b) of this Section.
(e) Pending verification. Until the sponsored alien provides necessary information or verification regarding his or her sponsor's income and resources and the number of aliens he or she sponsors, the sponsored alien is not eligible to be included in the SNAP food benefits. The worker must determine the eligibility of any remaining unsponsored household members while the sponsor's information is pending. The sponsored alien's income, minus any consideration of the sponsor's income, is considered available to the rest of the household, per OAC 340:50-7-29(d)(2).
(f) When deeming stops. Sponsor-to-alien deeming stops when the sponsored:
(1) alien becomes a naturalized citizen;
(2) alien can be credited with 40 quarters of work, per OAC 340:50-5-67; or
(3) alien's sponsor dies.
1. Only aliens who entered the United States (U.S.) on or after December 19, 1997, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Forms I-864 or I-864A, are subject to the deeming requirement when not exempt. The worker may use information contained in a Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) search to confirm if an alien has a sponsor.
2. Every attempt is made to exempt the sponsored alien from deeming under one of the other exemptions, per (b) of this Section before making an indigent determination.
3. When the worker makes an indigence determination, the worker consults a supervisor, and the supervisor sends an email to Adult and Family Services (AFS) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Unit at AFS.SNAP@okdhs.org regarding the determination, the case number, and the names of the sponsored alien and the alien's spouse. AFS SNAP staff sends the written notice to the U.S. Attorney General and includes the:
(1) reference, "Determinations under 421(e) of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996"; and
(2) name of the sponsored alien and the alien's sponsor.
4. The worker must assist the household in obtaining the necessary verification. When necessary, the SAVE program can provide the sponsor's name, address, and Social Security number.