Afghan Refugees Eligible for SSI

Empire Justice Center April 29, 2022

Under Section 2502 of the Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2022, Non-Special Immigrant Parolees from Afghanistan may be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. The Act covers citizens or nationals of Afghanistan (or individuals with no nationality who last habitually resided in Afghanistan) paroled into the United States between July 31, 2021, and September 30, 2022. It also allows the parolee’s spouse, children, and parents or legal guardians (if the parolee is an unaccompanied child) to be eligible for SSI if they are paroled after September 30, 2022.


To be eligible for SSI benefits, these people would also need to meet the other requirements of the program, such as being at least age 65 or disabled or blind, and having countable income and resources below certain limits. This temporary period of eligibility ends the later of March 31, 2023, or when the person’s parole period ends.


Afghan nationals who were admitted to the U.S. as special immigrants (because they either served as a translator or interpreter for the U.S. Armed Forces in Afghanistan or worked for or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan) are also eligible for SSI benefits for up to seven years from the date they entered as a special immigrant or adjusted to special immigrant status. See POMS SI 00502.106 -Time-Limited Eligibility for Certain Aliens.