Supplemental Security Income:

Noncitizen Caseload Continues to Grow

T-HEHS-96-149: Published: May 23, 1996. Publicly Released: May 23, 1996.

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GAO discussed the rapid increase in the number of noncitizens receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. GAO noted that: (1) between 1986 and 1994, the percentage of noncitizen SSI recipients grew from 6 percent to 12 percent; (2) program outreach and eligibility expansion, limited eligibility review, and limited employment assistance for the disabled have contributed to the growth of noncitizen and citizen SSI recipients; (3) immigration provisions that do not require refugees or asylees to be sponsored or supported by a U.S. resident have also contributed to the growth of noncitizen SSI recipients; (4) almost 70 percent of noncitizen SSI recipients are at least 65 years old; (5) disabled noncitizen SSI recipients are the fastest growing recipient group, averaging 19 percent growth annually between 1986 and 1993; (6) although an exact number is not known, some non-English-speaking noncitizen SSI recipients have obtained SSI benefits illegally with the help of translators; and (7) translator fraud may have contributed to the growth in the number of disabled noncitizen recipients.

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