Question: Can a “T” Visa holder who is a nonresident and without a work history in the US apply for SSI benefits? She has severe medical needs.
Yes, she is “potentially” eligible because she is in possession of a non-immigrant T visa. See SSA guidance below which requires “proper certification” of status by the US Dept. of Health and Human Services. You will want to contact the individual’s local SSA field office and bring proper documentation. See link below for documentation required to prove identity and status.
For purposes of SSI eligibility, individuals are not considered qualified aliens if they were admitted to the U.S. under the provisions of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. Their eligibility is subject to the proper certification in such status by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and possession of a valid "T" non-immigrant visa. Once the alien obtains proper certification and is in possession of a "T" non-immigrant visa, he or she becomes potentially eligible for SSI.