605-2 A. SPONSORED ALIENS
A sponsored alien is an alien admitted into the United States for permanent residence as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act and, as a condition of entry, was sponsored by a person who executed an affidavit of support for the alien.
1. Sponsor-to-Alien Deeming
Sponsors are required to execute an affidavit of support with the Immigration and Nationalization Service (INS) and demonstrate that they can provide enough financial support to the sponsored alien so he or she does not have to rely on public assistance benefits.
One way of showing financial support is to count part of the sponsor’s income and resources as the alien’s own when determining the alien’s SNAP eligibility and benefit level. This attribution of income and resources is called deeming.
When a sponsored alien applies for SNAP, a portion of the income and resources belonging to the sponsor (and sponsor’s spouse if the spouse is living with the sponsor) who has signed a legally binding affidavit of support is required to be deemed to the alien, regardless of actual availability.
The deeming rules apply only to eligible lawful permanent residents (LPRs) whose sponsor has signed a legally binding affidavit of support (Form I-864 or I-864A) on or after December 19, 1997.
See MS 605-2A(2) for a list of aliens who are not subject to sponsor deeming.
If necessary, the caseworker may verify whether an alien has a sponsor by submitting INS Form G-845 and G845 Supplement (Document Verification Request and Supplement) to INS and requesting completion of block #7 Affidavit of Support.
2. Aliens Not Subject to Sponsor-to-Alien Deeming
The following aliens are not subject to sponsor-to-alien deeming.
a. Aliens without sponsors, including refugees, asylees, parolees, persons granted withholding of deportation, Amerasians, Cuban or Haitian entrants.
Although some of these aliens may be sponsored by an organization such as a church, they are not sponsored on an I-864 Affidavit of Support and that organization does not have to sign a legally binding affidavit of support that would subject that individual to deeming requirements.
b. Aliens with 40 qualifying quarters of work.
c. Aliens who became lawful permanent residents before December 19, 1997 and aliens whose sponsors signed affidavits of support before December 19, 1997.
d. Aliens who are in the same SNAP household as the sponsor. Deeming does not apply because the sponsor’s income and resources are already counted. There is, however, no deeming exemption if the sponsor receives SNAP in a different household than the alien.
e. Aliens who are ineligible for SNAP .
f. Aliens who are a battered spouse, battered child, or parents or a child of a battered person. Deeming does not apply during any 12-month period providing the battered alien lives in a separate household from the person responsible for the battery. The exemption can be extended for additional 12-month periods if the alien demonstrates that the battery is recognized by a court, administrative order, or by the INS and if the Division of Public Assistance determines that the battery has a substantial connection to the need for benefits.
g. Indigent aliens, whose total income and any cash or in-kind assistance provided by the sponsor or others are less than the gross income limit for the alien’s household. Notify the SNAP Policy Unit in Juneau if such determinations are made. Each indigence determination is effective for 12 months and may be renewed for additional 12-month periods.
h. Aliens who are children under 18 years old.
3. Period of Deeming
Sponsor deeming lasts until:
a. The sponsored alien becomes a naturalized citizen;
b. The sponsored alien can be credited with 40 quarters of work;
c. The sponsored alien is no longer in the U.S. and is no longer a lawful permanent resident;
d. The sponsored alien meets one of the exceptions listed in MS 605-2A(2); or,
e. The sponsor or the sponsored alien dies.
4. Deeming Sponsor Resources
A portion of the resources belonging to a sponsor (and sponsor's spouse if the spouse is living with the sponsor) is deemed to be the resources of a sponsored alien. The resources belonging to the sponsor’s spouse will be counted even if the sponsor and spouse were married after the signing of the sponsorship agreement.
All but $1,500 of the total countable resources belonging to the sponsor and sponsor’s spouse is deemed to the sponsored alien.
The amount of resources deemed to the sponsored alien is considered in determining the eligibility of the household in which the alien is a member.
If the sponsor signs an affidavit of support for more than one alien, the sponsor’s deemed resources are pro-rated among the sponsored aliens.
5. Deeming Sponsor Income
A portion of the total gross income of a sponsor (and sponsor's spouse if the spouse is living with the sponsor) is deemed to be the unearned income of a sponsored alien. The income belonging to the sponsor’s spouse will be counted even if the sponsor and spouse were married after the signing of the sponsorship agreement.
The amount of the sponsor’s income that is deemed to the sponsored alien is calculated as follows:
a. Total the monthly countable earned income of the sponsor and sponsor’s spouse.
b. Subtract 20 percent of this total gross earned income.
c. Add the total monthly countable unearned income of the sponsor and sponsor’s spouse.
d. Subtract the amount equal to the SNAP gross income eligibility limit for a household equal in size to the sponsor’s household. The sponsor’s household includes the sponsor, the sponsor’s spouse if living with the sponsor, and any person claimed or could be claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes.
e. If the sponsor signs an affidavit of support for more than one immigrant, the sponsor’s deemed income is pro-rated among the sponsored aliens.
The amount of income deemed to the sponsored alien is considered unearned income in determining the eligibility and benefit level of the household in which the alien is a member.
Actual money given to the alien by the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse is not considered as income to the alien unless the amount exceeds the amount attributed to the alien as deemed income. The portion of the amount that actually exceeds the amount deemed is considered income to the alien in addition to the deemed income amount.
6. Changes in Sponsor
a. If the alien reports during the certification period that the sponsor has changed, the deemed income and resources is recalculated based on the income and resources of the new sponsor and sponsor's spouse.
b. If an alien loses his/her sponsor and does not obtain another, the deemed income and resources of the previous sponsor continue to be attributed to the alien until another sponsor is obtained or until the period of deeming ends, whichever occurs first.
c. If the sponsor dies, the deemed income and resources of the sponsor is no longer attributed to the alien.
7. Sponsored Alien’s Responsibilities
a. Provide information and verification needed to calculate deemed income and resources at initial application and recertification.
b. Provide the names (or other identifying factors) of other aliens for whom the alien's sponsor has signed an agreement to support. If such information is not provided, the entire amount of the deemed income and resource amounts calculated will be attributed to the applicant alien until the information is provided.
c. Report the required information about the sponsor and sponsor's spouse if the alien obtains a new sponsor during the certification period.
d. Report if the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse change or lose employment or die during the certification period.
8. Caseworker’s Responsibilities
a. Obtain at initial application the name, address, and phone number of the sponsor; verification of the income and resources of the sponsor and sponsor's spouse (if living with the sponsor); the number of dependents who are claimed, or could be claimed as dependents by the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse for Federal income tax purposes; and the names or other identifying factors (such as an alien registration number) of other aliens for whom the sponsor has signed an affidavit of support.
b. Verify the income, resources, and any questionable information needed to determine the household’s eligibility and benefit amount.
c. Assist the alien in obtaining verification.
9. Verification of Sponsor’s Resources and Income
The alien is responsible for obtaining the information and documentation necessary to calculate the deemed income and resource amounts. The caseworker must help the alien obtain the verification, if necessary. INS, through SAVE, can provide the sponsor’s name, address, and SSN Social Security Number .
While awaiting verification, the sponsored alien is ineligible and considered an excluded household member. See MS 605-2B. In this situation, the deemed income and resources are not considered available in determining the eligibility and benefit level of the remaining household members. If the same sponsor is responsible for the entire household, the entire household is ineligible until the required sponsor information is provided and/or verified.