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Mother US Citizen aged 65. If dad aged 70 obtains GC through mom & immigrates can he benefit from medicaid & health benefits?

La Palma, CA |

My mother is a USC aged 65 residing in CA, and has petitioned an I130 currently in process for my dad ages 70. I understand my sister will co-sponsor. But, at the age of 70 if he moves to CA in the U.S., can he benefit from medicaid inclusive of all health benefits as he is > 65, or must he 1st spend 5 yrs in CA state? What public, government healthcare opportunities exist for a 70 year old immigrant to the U.S.

Attorney Answers 2


He cannot be a public charge as long as he is not a US citizen.

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Generally, yes, he can but ONLY by putting in that time - with stipulations and not right away, which may make it impractical for your father. Permanent residents cannot apply for SSI benefits until they have lived in the U.S. for five years. After five years in the U.S., a permanent resident may qualify for SSI only if he or she has credit for 40 quarters of work. (i.e. 10 years of work) There are special rules about how to count the 40 quarters, including the fact that only work in the U.S. counts towards the 40-quarter requirement.
Also, if the person receives any “means-tested public benefits” during a quarter, no credit will be given for that quarter. However, I also understand that the work of a spouse performed during the marriage (as long as there was no divorce or annulment) can be counted, so be sure to look into that.

Now, consider looking into this as well:

If your mom is a citizen and worked and has Social security benefits coming her way, or soon, your father may be able to get "spousal benefit" based on her work record (which can be up to 50% of the amount SHE gets). He can also potentially get Medicare, as her spouse - and not have to rely on welfare like Medicaid.

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