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Social Security Protection Act Adds Requirement

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Social Security Protection Act adds requirement for non–U.S. citizen applicants

Immigrants' Rights Update
Vol. 18, No. 2, April 2, 2004

The Social Security Protection Act of 2004 introduced a new requirement for Title II benefit applicants:  In order to be considered “fully insured” or “currently insured” for Social Security retirement, survivors’, or disability benefits, a non–U.S. citizen must have been assigned a Social Security number that was, at the time it was assigned or at any later time, valid for work purposes. Alternatively, the applicant must have been admitted to the United States temporarily for business or as a crewman when the relevant work quarters were earned. These requirements pertain only to applications based on Social Security numbers issued on or after Jan. 1, 2004. Pub. L. No. 108-203 § 211 (Mar. 2, 2004).

Because most applicants for Title II benefits already are required to demonstrate that they are lawfully present in the U.S., the new Social Security number requirement is not expected to restrict access to these benefits significantly. 42 U.S.C. § 402(y).