Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Manual

1105.098.00 Appendix B – Guide for 40 Quarter Immigrant Eligibility Determination

IM-118 August 2, 2000; IM-142 November 6, 1998


PURPOSE:  Some immigrants must have 40 qualifying quarters of coverage under Title II of the Social Security Act or be credited with such quarters to be eligible for assistance.  Use this guide to determine if an immigrant has the required 40 qualifying quarters.  These guidelines were provided by the Social Security Administration (SSA).


Applicant: This is the individual applying for public assistance benefits.

Covered Earnings: These are wages or self-employment income requiring payment of FICA/SECA (Social Security) taxes.

LAG Quarters: Current year Quarters and the year preceding it that may not appear in the qualifying quarter (QQ) history pattern because the employer report or self-employment tax return has not been processed. This could be up to seven (7) quarters depending when a request for QQ history is processed.

Noncovered earnings: These are wages or self-employment income that does not require payment of FICA/SECA (Social Security) taxes.

Number Holder: An individual who has a Social Security number assigned to him/her.

Qualifying Quarter (QQ): Credit for a required amount of covered earnings or noncovered earnings assigned to a calendar quarter for years beginning 1937.

Quarter: A period of three calendar months ending March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31.

Quarter of Coverage (QC): Credit for covered earnings assigned to a calendar quarter.

QQ History: A display of qualifying quarters by quarter and year.