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Policy Guidance Citizenship, Immigration Status and Social Security Numbers in State Applications for Medicaid, SCHIP, TANF and Food Stamp Benefits

EO Guidance Document #
Resource type
Guidance Documents
Resource Materials
PDF Icon Policy Guidance (238.52 KB)
PDF Icon Q&A (98.68 KB)

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the Department of Agriculture sent the guidance letter and this set of Questions and Answers (Q&As) to all state welfare and health officials. Together, they inform states and others about when a state is required to request information about citizenship or immigration status, and social security numbers (SSNs) on joint and single-program applications, and the circumstances under which a state may or may not deny benefits when an applicant does not provide the information that the state has requested.

The purpose of the guidance letter and these Q&As is to assist states in modifying their application forms and processes so that eligible individuals will have equal access to assistance and will not be deterred from seeking benefits. Recommendations are included to help states modify their application forms to be consistent with the requirements and principles explained in the guidance letter and the Q&As.


Page updated: April 05, 2023

The contents of this guidance document do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way. This document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.