Sen. Smith (R-OR) seeks to extend SSI benefits for refugees

Your tax dollars:

Hearings held yesterday in the Senate Select Committee on Aging were aimed at supporting legislation to expand and extend the program that allows senior citizen refugees to receive Social Security Income benefits.    Presently benefits are available for 7 years, but Senator Gordon H. Smith thinks that is not enough time for them to become full-fledged citizens.

“The SSI benefit is a lifeline for elderly and disabled refugees. To penalize them because of delays encountered through the bureaucratic process of becoming a citizen is unjust and inappropriate. Only by increasing the time limit before their SSI benefits expire will the United States help to fulfill its promise to this most vulnerable population.”


Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a federal income supplement program designed to help aged, blind and disabled people, who have little or no income by providing cash to meet basic needs for food, clothing and shelter. Congress modified the SSI program to include a seven-year time limit on eligibility for refugees, those granted asylum and other humanitarian immigrants.

According to this article in Senior Journal  7000 refugees have already lost benefits and 16,000 may soon lose them if revisions to the law are not soon made.