You are here

Cash and SNAP Eligibility Chart by immigration status for Massachusetts residents

Produced by Massachusetts Law Reform Institute and Greater Boston Legal Services
Reviewed January 2022
Immigrant Status SNAP EAEDC Cash Assistance TAFDC Cash Assistance Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
U.S. citizens (born in the United States or naturalized) and Native Americans Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible
Refugee, asylee, Cuban/ Haitian entrant, person granted withholding of deportation or removal, Amerasian immigrant, and Iraqi and Afghan Special Immigrant Visa holders ( this list is referred to elsewhere in this chart as “refugee group”) Eligible Eligible Eligible Eligible for 7 years from date of “entry” into status. Eligible indefinitely if:
  • received SSI or had application pending on 8/22/96,
  • lawfully resided in U.S. on 8/22/96, and is disabled, or
  • LPR credited with 40 Qs of work and lived in the U.S. as qualified immigrant for five years.*
Lawful permanent resident (LPR) and parolee* (if granted parole for at least one year) *Except for Afghan evacuees paroled into the United States between July 31, 2021 and September 30, 2022 (+ some family members paroled after Sept. 30, 2022), who are considered refugees and do not have a waiting period. Eligible if immigrant:
  • under age 18,
  • adjusted from refugee group status,
  • lived in U.S. as qualified immigrant* for five years,
  • receives a cash or medical disability-based benefit.
  • “lawfully resided” in the U.S. and was 65 on 8/22/96, or
  • LPR credited with 40 Qs of work
Eligible Eligible if:
  • adjusted from refugee group status; · physically entered the U.S. before 8/22/96,
  • lived in U.S. as qualified immigrant* for five years, or
  • Is a battered noncitizen (see below).
Eligible if:
  • received SSI or had application pending on 8/22/96,
  • lawfully resided in U.S. on 8/22/96, and is disabled, or
  • LPR credited with 40 Qs of work and lived in the U.S. as qualified immigrant* for five years.
Victim of Trafficking in persons Eligible Eligible Eligible Same as refugee group
         
         
*In this context "qualified immigrant" means (1) lawful permanent resident, (2) parolee for at least one year, (3) refugee group, or (4) battered noncitizen.
Battered noncitizens, and their children/parents (including Violence Against Women Act self-petitioners, family petitioners, and lawful permanent residents who have been abused) Eligible if:
  • lived in the U.S as qualified
    immigrant* for 5 years,
  • under age 18,
  • receives a disability-based
    benefit,
  • “lawfully resided” in U.S. and was 65 on 8/22/96, or
  • LPR with 40 Qs of work
Eligible Eligible Eligible if:
  • received SSI or had application pending on 8/22/96,
  • lawfully resided in U.S. on 8/22/96, and is disabled, or
  • LPR credited with 40 Qs of work and has lived in the U.S. as qualified immigrant* for five years.
Lawfully residing Veteran, active-duty service member, spouse, & dependent children · Eligible if a qualified
immigrant*
Eligible Eligible Eligible if a qualified immigrant*
Immigrant permanently residing in U.S. under color of law (PRUCOL)^ No (unless also a battered noncitizen, Cuban/Haitian entrant). Eligible No (unless also a battered noncitizen, Cuban/Haitian entrant, or veteran in lawful status). Not eligible
(unless receiving SSI or application pending on 8/22/96).
Non-immigrant (tourist, student) No No No No
Undocumented/out of status No No No No

Under federal law, all non-citizens regardless of immigration status are eligible for the following:

  • Federally funded National School Lunch Program (NSLP), School Breakfast Program (SBP) and other child nutrition programs, Head Start programs.
  • Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program for pregnant and breastfeeding women, infants and children under age 5.
  • Meals on Wheels and other elder nutrition programs.
  • Other non-means-tested food provided at the community level, such as TEFAP and MEFAP funding for food pantries, food provided at homeless shelters, child protection services, and
    domestic violence, mental health, and substance abuse treatment programs.

 

^ PRUCOL: Refers to immigrants who are considered “permanently residing in the United States under color of law.” Immigrants are often considered PRUCOL under certain programs if they are known to the USCIS and the USCIS does not presently contemplate enforcing their departure. PRUCOL is not an immigration status and will not appear as a term on any immigration documents.

PRUCOL immigrants often have employment authorization (EAD) or some other proof of granted immigration status or a pending status. Examples of immigrants who are considered PRUCOL include - but are not limited to - persons granted or with an application pending for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) or Deferred Action status, under Order of Supervision, with a pending application for Legal Permanent Residency, Asylum applicants, U Visa recipients and applicants (victims of violence) and others.

Find Legal Aid

You may be able to get free legal help from your local legal aid program. Or email a question about your own legal problem to a lawyer.

Help us improve MassLegalHelp!

Take a short survey to tell us what works and what is missing.

Ask a Law Librarian

If it's
Monday-Friday
between
9am and 4pm