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Library: Policy

340:50-5-67. Citizenship and alien status

Revised 9-15-21

(a) Per Section 273.4 of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations (7 § C.F.R. 273.4), to be eligible for food benefits a person must be:

(1) a United States (U.S.) citizen;   • 1

(2) a U.S. non-citizen national;  • 2

(3) an alien who is both qualified and eligible; or  • 3

(4) an alien not required to meet qualified alien status.  • 4

(b) Pursuant to Section 71 of Title 56 and Section 20j of Title 74 of the Oklahoma Statutes, all persons 14 years of age and older must declare whether they are residing in the U.S. lawfully and may be required to sign Form 08MP005E, Citizenship Affidavit, per OAC 340:65-3-1(g).

(c) Ineligible or illegal aliens are not eligible to receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits.  An ineligible alien is an alien who does not meet eligible alien status, per (a)(3) or (4) of this Section or is determined to be an ineligible sponsored alien, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:50-5-49.

(1) When a household is unwilling or unable to provide alien status documentation for any household member, the alien is considered an ineligible alien and is not eligible for food benefits.  No further efforts to obtain documentation are made.

(2) The worker prorates the income of the ineligible or illegal aliens among all household members, per 7 § C.F.R. 273.11(c)(3) and OAC 340:50-7-29(d)(2).

(3) Oklahoma Human Services is responsible for reporting to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) any alien it "knows" is not lawfully present in the U.S., per 7 C.F.R. § 273.4(b).  OKDHS only "knows" an alien is not present legally when the alien applies for SNAP benefits and it is determined as a finding of fact or a conclusion of law that the alien is present in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act.  OKDHS must support this determination with a formal determination by USCIS or the Executive Office of Immigration Review, such as a Final Order of Deportation.  • 5

INSTRUCTIONS TO STAFF 340:50-5-67

Revised 9-15-21

1. (a) A United States (U.S.) citizen is a person, other than a foreign diplomat, born in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or Northern Mariana Islands, who has not renounced or otherwise lost his or her citizenship.  A person born outside the U.S. is a U.S. citizen when at least one parent is a U.S. citizen at the time of the child's birth.

(b) The applicant or recipient must declare the citizenship or alien status of all household members requesting food benefits on the application.  Form 08MP022E, Declaration of Citizenship Status, is used to declare citizenship or alien status when new household members are added to the food benefits after certification.

(c) When a household member's U.S. citizenship is questionable, the household member must provide verification.  Verification of citizenship is made by examining the person's:

(1) birth certificate;

(2) baptismal certificate;

(3) U.S. passport; or

(4) certification of citizenship or naturalization provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), such as an identification card for use of the resident citizen of the U.S., USCIS Form I-179, or USCIS Form I-197.

(d) When verification of citizenship cannot be obtained and the household provides a reasonable explanation for why verification is not available, the worker accepts a signed statement from someone who is a U.S. citizen who declares under penalty of perjury that the person in question is a U.S. citizen.  The signed statement must contain the warning, "If you intentionally give false information to help this person get food benefits, you may be fined, imprisoned, or both."  When the person is 14 years of age or older, he or she may also be required to complete Form 08MP005E, Citizenship Affidavit, per Oklahoma Administrative Code (OAC) 340:65-3-1(g).

(e) When the applicant declares that some or all of the household members applying for benefits are aliens, the worker must follow the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlement (SAVE) procedures per OAC 340:65-3-4(5) to determine when the documents provided to verify legal alien status are valid.

2.  A U.S. non-citizen national is a person born in outlying possessions of the U.S. on or after the U.S. acquired possession or his or her parent(s) is a U.S. non-citizen national.Examples of outlying possessions are American Samoa or Swains Island. 

3. (a) A qualified alien is a person who at the time he or she applies for or receives food benefits is:

(1) lawfully admitted for legal permanent residence (LPR) in the U.S. under Section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988;

(2) granted asylum under Section 208 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA);

(3) an alien whose deportation is being withheld under Section 243(h) of the INA as in effect before April 1, 1997, or removal is withheld under Section 241(b)(3) of the INA;

(4) a refugee who is admitted under Section 207 of the INA;

(5) a Cuban or Haitian:

(A) refugee admitted under Section 501(e) of the Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, including Haitian orphans permitted to enter the U.S. under humanitarian parole on or after January 12, 2010; or

(B) parolee admitted under INA 212(d)(5) since October 19, 1980;

(6) paroled into the U.S. under Section 212(d)(5) of the INA for at least one year.  Exception:  Paroled Cubans or Haitians are not subject to the one year rule;

(7) granted conditional entry pursuant to Section 203(a)(7) of the INA as in effect before April 1, 1980;

(8) a battered spouse, battered child or parent or child of a battered person with a petition pending under Section 204(a)(1)(A) or (B) or Section 244(A)(3) of the INA; or

(9) a victim of a severe form of trafficking and/or his or her eligible relatives.

(A) A victim has a letter of certification issued by Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).  The victims and their eligible relatives also have a T Visa.

(B) To verify the validity of ORR issued letters and to inform ORR of the benefits for which the victims have applied, call the victims verification toll-free number 1-866-401-5510.

(b) To be eligible, a qualified alien must meet at least one of the criteria listed in (1) through (9) of this Instruction to Staff and is not limited in participation unless otherwise stated.  The qualified alien:

(1) is a veteran of the U.S. military who was honorably discharged for a reason(s) other than alienage.  The veteran must have at least 24 months of active service or when the veteran was called to active duty for a specified time less than 24 months had completed the specified number of months of service.  The veteran's spouse and unmarried dependent children are also eligible with no time limits.  The term veteran also includes:

(A) military personnel who die during active duty service; and

(B) persons who served in the Philippine Commonwealth Army during World War II or as a Philippine scout following the war;

(2) is an unmarried dependent child of a deceased veteran or person who died during active duty service;

(3) is the surviving spouse of a deceased veteran or person who died during active duty service who has not remarried and who was married to the veteran:

(A) for at least one year;

(B) before the end of a 15-year time span following the end of the period of military service in which the injury or disease was incurred or aggravated; or

(C) for any period of time when a child was born of the marriage or before the marriage;

(4) is on active military duty, not including active duty for training, the alien's spouse, or an unmarried dependent child;

(5) can be credited with 40 qualifying quarters of coverage under Title II of the Social Security Act.  The person may obtain this information online after creating an account at SSA.gov and clicking on My Social Security.  To create an account, the person must provide basic demographic information and an email address.  Once the person creates an account, he or she is sent a security code and can then access his or her earnings record.  The earnings record shows yearly earnings.  The Oklahoma Human Services Appendix C-1, Schedule XII, Maximum Income, Resource, and Payment Standards, shows the SSA minimum earnings for a quarter of coverage.

(A) Quarters may be used both by the person working them and the persons to whom they are deemed.

(B) Quarters worked after December 31, 1996, are not counted or credited as part of the 40-quarter fulfillment when the alien, his or her parent(s) or spouse received any means-tested public benefit during that quarter.  Means-tested public benefits are:

(i) Supplemental Security Income (SSI);

(ii) food benefits;

(iii) Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF);

(iv) SoonerCare (Medicaid); and

(v) the Food Assistance Program in Puerto Rico, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

(C) Quarters credited may be:

(i) earned by the person;

(ii) earned by a spouse during the period of the legal marriage including common law;

(iii) earned by a spouse now deceased during their marriage when the surviving spouse has not remarried;

(iv) earned by parents, natural or adoptive, while the alien child was less than 18 years of age and unmarried.  This includes quarters earned before the birth of the person.  The alien child can continue to count these quarters after he or she reaches 18 years of age;

(v) earned by a stepparent during the marriage to the alien child's natural or adoptive parent.  The alien child can continue to count these quarters after he or she reaches 18 years of age.  The step relationship is based on the marriage of the child's parent to the stepparent.  The quarters can be credited from the quarter in which the marriage occurred through the quarter the child attains 18 years of age.  During a marital separation, the quarters are counted.  When the marriage ended by the death of the stepparent, the stepparent's quarters are counted.  When the marriage ended because of divorce, the stepparent's quarters are not counted; or

(vi) deemed back and forth within the family group, from spouse to spouse, and parent to child, but not from child to parent.  For example, the mother and father each have 20 countable quarters that can be deemed to each other as well as any of their minor children living in the home, making them all eligible;

(6) is currently receiving disability or blindness payments under programs described in OAC 340:50-5-4(a)(2) through (a) 11;

(7) has resided in the U.S. as a qualified alien for five years since the date of entry;

(8) has been admitted to the U.S. as:

(A) a refugee to the U.S. under Section 207 of the INA;

(B) an alien granted asylum under Section 208 of the INA;

(C) an alien whose deportation is being withheld under Section 243(h) or 241(b)(3) of the INA;

(D) an Amerasian admitted, per Section 584 of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 1988;

(E) a Cuban or Haitian entrant under Section 501(e) of the refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980, including Haitian orphans permitted to enter the U.S. under humanitarian parole on or after January 12, 2010.  This includes Cubans or Haitians paroled into the U.S. under INS 212(d)(5) since October 19, 1980; or

(F) a victim of a severe form of trafficking and his or her eligible relatives; or

(9) is a child under 18 years of age regardless of when he or she was admitted.

(c) When the applicant declares some or all of the household members applying for benefits are aliens, the worker must follow the SAVE procedures described at OAC 340:65-3-4 to determine when the documents provided to verify legal alien status are valid.

4. Aliens not required to meet qualified alien status are:

(1) American Indians born in Canada to whom the provisions of Section 289 of the INA, Section 1359 of Title 8 of the United States Code (8 U.S.C. § 1359) apply and members of an Indian tribe as defined in Section 4(e) of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act, 25 U.S.C § 450(e).  This provision was intended to cover American Indians who are entitled to cross the U.S. border into Canada or Mexico.  This includes among others, the:

 (A) St. Regis Band of the Mohawk in New York State;

(B) Micmac in Maine;

(C) Abanaki in Vermont; and

(D) Kickapoo in Texas;

(2) persons who are lawfully residing in the U.S. and were members of a Hmong or Highland Laotian tribe at the time the tribe rendered assistance to the U.S. personnel by taking part in a military or rescue operation during the Vietnam era beginning August 5, 1964, and ending May 7, 1975.  The spouse or surviving spouse who has not remarried and unmarried dependent children of such person may also be eligible for food benefits;

(3) Iraqis admitted in special immigrant status as defined in Section 101(a)(27) of INA, 8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27), and per Section 1059, Public Law (P.L.) 109-163, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006, and Section 1244 of P.L. 110-181 the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 pursuant to Section 525 of Division G of P.L. 110-161, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008, and Section 1244 of P.L. 110-181, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal year 2008, and the Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2010 Section 8120 P.L. 111-119 are treated as refuges pursuant to Section 207 of the INA.

5. Adult and Family Services (AFS) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Unit staff reports to USCIS the names and addresses of food benefit applicants or recipients who are determined to be residing in the U.S. unlawfully.

(1) The worker is not required to report:

(A) applicants and/or recipients who are undocumented and appear to be residing in the U.S. unlawfully; or

(B) persons who are not applicants or recipients who are not required to declare their citizenship status.

(2) The worker reports to the AFS SNAP Unit the names and addresses of applicants or recipients for whom there is a formal order of deportation or removal.

(3) The worker determines the eligibility of households that include undocumented aliens in the same manner as households that do not have undocumented persons.

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