Green Card Holder: Public Benefits You Can Receive | Silver Immigration

Public Benefits a Green Card Holder Can Receive

If you are a US green card holder or are currently in the process of filling out your green card application, perhaps you’re wondering what advantages come with being a permanent US resident.

While there are many advantages to be aware of, we are going to focus on a few of the public benefits that green card holders can receive.

Supplemental Security Income

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) is a program for blind, aged, and disabled people from low- or zero-income households. This program provides eligible residents with cash for food, clothing and shelter, striving to meet the basic needs of those who require this assistance.

Before you apply for this program, you first have to find out if you’re eligible. You can do so by answering some questions through the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool. Once you’ve determined whether you’re eligible for SSI, you can visit the Social Security Administration website to apply.

Social Security Benefits

As a permanent US resident, if you work and pay your Social Security taxes, you earn credits every time you file your taxes. You can earn up to 4 credits per year, and once you’ve accumulated 40 credits (or worked for about 10 years in the United States), you’ll be eligible for Social Security benefits.

Green card holders earn 1 credit for every US$1,160 earned up to US$4,640. If you’re married or have children, they qualify as entitled dependents for these benefits.


Medicare is a health insurance program that green card holders 65 years and older can take advantage of. New US residents, however, do not immediately qualify for this program.

Medicare has several components:

  • Part A covers major medical expenses, such as surgeries and hospitalization.
  • Part B covers outpatient care, like doctor visits and lab tests.
  • Part C combines aspects of parts A and B and covers vision and dental care.
  • Part D covers prescription costs.

If you are 65 years of age or older and have worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 40 quarters in the United States, you qualify for Medicare Part A benefits. If you have been a green card holder living in the United States for at least 5 years and do not yet qualify for Medicare, you can purchase Part A benefits from the government. Parts B, C and D benefits must be purchased by citizens and permanent residents alike.


SNAP EBT is a program that grants food stamps to low-income families or families with a member who has a disability. If you’re a green card holder, you may qualify for this program if you have been a legal resident for at least 5 years and are considered a low-income household. In 2021, the income threshold for qualifying families is US$1,810 per month. However, if a member of your immediate family is disabled or you have permanent resident children under the age of 18, the 5-year requirement doesn’t apply.

Supplemental Security Income, Social Security benefits, Medicare and SNAP EBT are just a few of the benefits that you may qualify for as a green cardholder. If you want to learn more about the benefits available to permanent US residents or wish to apply for a green card, contact us at Silver Immigration.

At Silver Immigration, we have helped hundreds of individuals secure status to live and work in the United States, and we would love to help you too.

Give us a call today to schedule a consultation with our US immigration lawyer and learn how you can obtain a US green card and all the benefits that come with it.