March 25, 2009


Food Stamp Program Guide Letter #539








All County Information Notices (ACIN) I-92-08 and I-23-03;

Manual of Policies and Procedures (MPP) sections 63-503.492(D)(1) (C ), All County Letter 02-17.



Effective Date

Upon Receipt




The purpose of this Letter is to inform staff of:


·  The requirement to send referrals of indigent sponsored noncitizens to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after each indigent determination; and 

·  Changes to the Food Stamp Guide (FSPG) chapter 63-157 and Chapter 63-117.8 E




When a worker determines that a sponsored noncitizen is indigent, the name of the sponsored indigent noncitizen and the sponsor’s name must be send directly to:


Ms. Lisa Roney

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Office of Policy and Planning, Room 4010

20 Massachusetts Avenue NW

Washington, D.C. 20529-0001




of “Indigent”

A sponsored noncitizen is considered “indigent” if the sum of the sponsored noncitizen household’s own income and any cash or in-kind assistance provided by the sponsor or others is less than 130 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL).




Worker Actions

To determine if a sponsored noncitizen meets the definition of indigent, the worker will total the actual income received from the sponsor and others, plus the noncitizen household’s income and the value of any in-kind income.  If the total does not exceed 130% of poverty limit for the family’s size, the sponsored noncitizen will be considered “indigent”. Refer to FSPG 63-246.1, and 63-246.3 


Once determined indigent, the regular process to deem the sponsor’s income and resources is suspended for a 12-month period, which is renewable at the end of that period.


Reporting Indigence to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)


The worker is required to:


1.      Inform the sponsored noncitizen, either verbally or in writing (via copy of USCIS letter) at the time they are determined indigent, that their name and the name of their sponsor will be reported to USCIS.

2.      Inform the sponsor when the whereabouts of the sponsor are known, that his/her name will be provided to USCIS and the reason.

3.      Use the attached letter to send the information to “United States Citizenship and Immigration Services”.

4.      Obtain approval from the Corrective Action Supervisor of the deeming indigent evaluation.

5.      Have the letter imaged to the “collect noncitizen detail window” and map it as existing forms I-864 and I-864A.

6.      Enter case comment of action taken including when the letter was sent to USCIS.



Note:  If the sponsor noncitizen does not want worker to contact USCIS regarding their indigent status or their sponsor, the noncitizen may choose to be removed from the FS household or withdraw their application.




Forms Impact

A cover letter has been created to report an indigent sponsored noncitizen to USCIS.

The cover letter can be retrieved from the on-line Food Stamp Program Guide (FSPG) section 63-157.3.


FSPG       Changes








Sponsorship Provisions and Indigency

v      Changed title from “Income and Resources Deeming and Sponsorship provisions” to “Sponsorship provisions and Indigency”

v      Reformatted section to include note on worker will assist noncitizens in obtaining verifications in accordance with the provisions of FSPG section 63-117.9

v      Added information on Reporting Indigence to the USCIS.


Sponsored Noncitizen Required Forms

v      Changed the SAVE address

63-117.8 E

Noncitizen Status

v      Added USCIS address for Secondary SAVE verification


Quality Control/Quality Assurance Impact

QC/QA will cite the appropriate error when the requirements in this material have not been followed.



Assistant Deputy Director

(Original signed March 25, 2009)







Assistant Deputy Director

Self-Sufficiency Programs

Strategic Planning & Operational Support