To be eligible for Blind Pension, claimants must be:
- aliens in lawful temporary resident (LTR) status; or
- aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence, or permanently residing in the United States under color of law, including any alien who is lawfully present in the Unites States under Section 203(a)(7) or Section 212(d)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Refer to the Temporary Assistance Manual for Citizenship and Alienage for detailed definitions of admission for permanent residence.
Effective August 28, 2008, House Bill 1549 (2008) added Section 208.009 RSMo that requires participants applying for or receiving state or local public assistance benefits to provide proof of citizenship or alien status in order to receive or continue to receive benefits. This change in the law applies to Blind Pension only because all other categories of public assistance administered by Family Support Division are federal benefits.
Participants applying for or receiving Blind Pension must now provide proof of citizenship. Previously, the participant’s declaration of citizenship was acceptable verification. Now documentation of citizenship or eligible alien status must be obtained at application for new participants and at the next reinvestigation completed for active Blind Pension participants for whom citizenship or alien status is not already documented.
The following individuals are exempt from having to provide documentation of citizenship:
- Individuals receiving SSI,
- Individuals receiving Medicare,
- Individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), and
- Individuals receiving Old Age Survivors Disability Insurance (OASDI) benefits based upon their own disability.
Refer to Section 0110.020.00 for a complete list of acceptable documents to use as verification. These are the same documents used to verify citizenship for all MO HealthNet programs.