IM-118 08/02/00 GUIDE FOR 40 QUARTER IMMIGRANT ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATN
|GUIDE FOR 40 QUARTERS IMMIGRANT ELIGIBILITY
FOOD STAMP MANUAL REVISION #23:
REVISED IMNL FOOD STAMP INDEX & IMNL FOOD STAMP TABLE OF CONTENTS
FORMS MANUAL REVISION #26:
SSA-3288-Consent for Release of Information
SSA-513-Request for Quarters of Coverage History Based on Relationship
SSA-512-Request to Resolve Questionable Quarters of Coverage
REVISION OF IIVE AND INSTRUCTIONS
|Some immigrants must have 40 qualifying
work quarters under the Social Security Administration to qualify for food
stamps. Effective immediately, Social Security's 40 qualifying quarters
information is available through IIVE. Use the 40 quarters history
to establish an immigrant's eligibility for food stamps.
The guidance for determining the 40 qualifying
quarters is added to IMNL Section 1105.098.00 Appendix B. The SSA
earnings chart contained in Appendix B is revised to reflect earnings for
the years 1999 and 2000.
SSA form 512 must be used to resolve questionable quarters of coverage with the Social Security Administration. The SSA-512, SSA-3288, and SSA-513 forms and instructions are attached. A supply of the SSA-3288, SSA-512, and SSA-513 is being printed and will be available in the warehouse shortly. Until supplies of the forms are available, copy the forms as needed. File attached copies of SSA forms in the Forms Manual after the SAVE instructions.
To obtain information through IIVE, an individual must have a DCN. If a query is needed for a parent or spouse who is not applying for assistance, assign a DCN. Assign a DCN even if the parent or spouse is deceased.
IIVE is revised to request 40 quarters history by entering a "Y" in the "40 QUARTERS?" field on the second page of IIVE. The 40 Qualifying Quarters Response is page 6 of IIVE. IIVE instructions are revised to reflect this change and include explanation of the qualifying 40 quarters response.
Note: IIVE instructions are revised to include Prisoner Record Data Definitions from the national prisoner match discussed in Memorandum IM-#145 dated October 1, 1999.
Attached with this memorandum is a guide for interpreting the response and determining 40 qualifying quarters. The information in the guide was provided by the Social Security Administration. In some instances it will be necessary to contact the Social Security Administration to resolve conflicting information. The guide contains instructions on when and how to resolve conflicting information. Please follow these instructions.
Distribution # 3
B - GUIDE FOR 40 QUARTER IMMIGRANT ELIGIBILITY DETERMINATION
IM-#118 August 2, 2000
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).
DEFINITION OF TERMS USED IN THIS GUIDE:
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.
Before requesting quarters of coverage information:
RETAIN THIS CONSENT FORM IN THE CASE RECORD. SSA WILL REQUEST TO SEE THESE FORMS AS PART OF QUALITY CONTROL OR IF A QUESTION IS RAISED.
IM-#118 August 2, 2000
The Social Security Administration requires consent for release of information from each individual (other than the individual signing the application) for whom quarters are being requested before IIVE can be accessed requesting the parent's/spouse's qualifying quarters history. This consent is required even if the parent/spouse is in the same household as the immigrant for whom quarters of coverage is being established.
IMPORTANT: If someone refuses to cooperate and will not complete the consent form, you cannot use IIVE to obtain the qualifying quarters history.
When someone refuses or cannot be located
(after reasonable efforts are made to contact) to authorize release of
information for QQ history, use Form SSA-513 REQUEST FOR QUARTERS OF COVERAGE
(QC) HISTORY BASED ON RELATIONSHIP to request this information from the
Social Security Administration. In these instances only the pertinent
quarters (quarters that might be used) can be disclosed to you. The
form and instructions for completion are located at the end of these instructions
and can be duplicated as needed if supplies are not available in your office.
REMEMBER: YOU CANNOT COUNT ANY QQ AFTER 12/31/96 IF THE IMMIGRANT, PARENT, OR SPOUSE RECEIVED A FEDERAL MEANS-TESTED PUBLIC BENEFIT DURING THE QUARTER.
STEP 1: Review the 40 qualifying quarter response for the individual for whom quarters are being established. Do the codes that represent QQs add up to 40 or more?
If YES, the immigrant meets the 40 quarters requirement.STEP 2: Review the 40 qualifying quarter response for individuals from whom quarters are being deemed. Review the periods that can be used (during the marriage for a spouse and under age 18 for a parent). When you add the codes that represent a qualifying quarter on these records to the immigrant's record, do they equal 40 or more?
If YES, the immigrant meets the 40 quarters requirement.STEP 3: Review the 40 qualifying quarters response for all individuals from whom quarters are being deemed:
Review the field MINIMUM NUMBER QCs 1937-1950.The following codes represent a qualifying quarter from covered earnings (QCs) except codes "F, U, and W" which are shown as QQs. This will be important in handling discrepancies. See IMNL section 1105.098.20.00.
A - Agricultural QC
An immigrant and spouse applied for food
stamps. The immigrant entered the United States in 1986. The immigrant's
spouse entered prior to that time. They married in June 1991.
It is determined that a QQ history for both SSNs is needed for the applicant
to meet the 40 QQ requirement. Obtain a Consent for Release of Information
from the spouse and access IIVE. Following is a display of QQ history
for the applicant and the applicant's spouse. Each individual's quarters
display with the first quarter for the year on the left and the fourth
quarter of the year end on the right.
In this example, the immigrant has a combination of wage and agricultural quarters totaling 27. It appears that the immigrant's spouse has enough quarters, which when added to the immigrant's quarters will equal 40. However, only the spouse's quarters earned during the marriage (shown as underlined and bold) can be qualifying quarters. The spouse has 17 quarters during the marriage. When added to the immigrant's quarters the total exceeds the 40 quarters requirement. Based on this example, the immigrant and spouse meet the 40 quarters requirement.
In this case, you do not need to reconcile
the "Z" quarters (1989) with SSA because they are outside of the marriage
period. You also do not need to develop the LAG quarters because
they are not needed to reach the 40 quarters requirement.
SSA will NOT develop LAG earnings for DFS because they will appear on SSA records when they are processed. Because these quarters represent recent work activity, the immigrant should have acceptable evidence of earnings readily available.
When the individual needs LAG quarters from the previous or current year, accept forms such as W-2 and/or W-2c, employer prepared wage statements or an IRS copy of the individual's tax return. Credit qualified quarters to the applicant using the covered employment chart in Section 1105.098.20.10 Assume the earnings are covered employment if the proof submitted indicates FICA taxes were withheld.
Whenever the applicant or other individual whose QQs are being credited to the immigrant does not agree with the QQ pattern provided by the IIVE query, it will be necessary to reconcile the discrepancy.
When an applicant cannot meet the 40 qualifying
quarters requirement using covered earnings or Medicare-only Federal, State,
or local wages but alleges that he/she had additional work that is not
documented by the IIVE query, follow the outline below to establish the
existence of the earnings and convert them to qualifying quarters.
STEP 1: Review the IIVE response with the immigrant to determine whether qualifying quarters are missing from the record.
If QQs are not missing from the response, make the determination based on the information already obtained.The COVERED EMPLOYMENT CHART should be used as a guide. The Social Security provisions are very complex and the chart may not include all exceptions in the Social Security Act.
It is important to note that 97 percent of all employment is now covered under the Social Security Act.
STEP 2: After you are satisfied that the noncovered earnings exist use the following chart to determine the number of QQs that can be credited. You can combine covered and noncovered earnings for a year. The dollar amount indicates the amount needed to credit one qualifying quarter beginning with 1978.
If you determine the earnings are from covered employment or Federal, State or local Medicare-only wages, then go to Section 1105.098.20.00 for development guidelines.1105.098.20.15 Evidence to Credit Qualifying Quarters
IM-#118 August 2, 2000
The following examples of evidence which can be used to establish earnings are not all inclusive. You may become aware of additional evidence during your contacts with the applicant. Remember YOU must be satisfied that the evidence presented supports the existence of earnings and the amount of the earnings.
IM-#118 August 2, 2000
Use the following chart to determine the number of qualifying quarters of earnings that can be credited toward an immigrant's 40 quarters. The dollar amount indicates the amount of earnings needed to credit one (1) qualifying quarter beginning with 1978.
To determine the number of quarters earned in a specific year, divide the earnings for that year by the dollar amount shown for that year. For the current year, count the quarter as soon as the individual has earnings in that quarter equal to the amount shown on the chart. A quarter in which the immigrant received a Federal means-tested public benefit cannot count as a qualifying quarter.
The maximum number of quarters that can be credited in a calendar year is four quarters, regardless of earnings. Examples of how to calculate quarters are:
EXAMPLE 1: An immigrant earned $2,090 in 1995. $2,090 divided by $630 = 3 with $200 remaining. The individual has 3 qualifying quarters from 1995. The remainder of $200 is not enough earnings to credit a fourth quarter.To assign quarters before 1978:
Appendix C-Guide for Determining Eligibility of Qualified Aliens for Food Stamps is not available on-line. Refer to the paper copy of the Food Stamp manual.