Elderly and disabled refugees now have a way to survive and live here after their first few years are up. - - Donna Poisl
Posted by Liza Lieberman
HIAS strongly supports Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s (R-FL) legislation (H.R. 2763), introduced on August 4, 2011, to ensure that elderly and disabled refugees living in the United States do not lose vital public benefits. Under the new bill, qualified refugees who have very low or no other source of income would be eligible to receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for up to nine years before becoming citizens.
SSI provides a modest stipend of approximately $674 per month to elderly, disabled, and blind persons who are unable to support themselves financially. Currently, refugees are eligible to receive these benefits for 7 years. After 7 years, if they do not naturalize, elderly and disabled refugees lose their SSI benefits.
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