Medical Assistance for People Who Are Age 65 or Older and People Who Are Blind or Have a Disability Sponsor Income Deeming

Sponsor deeming rules apply to noncitizens who are sponsored by an individual or individuals and have a signed Affidavit of Support (USCIS I-864), unless an exception is met.

Income of a sponsor and the sponsor’s spouse is deemed to each noncitizen covered by the affidavit regardless of whether the sponsor actually contributes to the noncitizen’s household needs. Income is deemed even if the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse are receiving public assistance in Minnesota or another state.

The following sponsor and sponsor’s spouse’s income is deemed to the sponsored noncitizen:

  • Gross income, including any cash assistance received by the sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse

  • Net self-employment income, minus self-employment expenses

If the sponsor is a member of the household:

If the sponsor is not a member of the household or is a household member whose income is not deemed to the sponsored noncitizen under MA-ABD income deeming rules, the following rules apply:

  • The total gross income of the sponsor and the sponsor’s spouse is deemed to each sponsored noncitizen, even if the sponsor and the sponsor's spouse are sponsoring more than one person.

  • The sponsor or the sponsor’s spouse’s income are not considered unavailable or excluded and there are no deductions or prorating for the needs of a sponsor, a sponsor's spouse, or other household members.

Applicants, enrollees, and sponsors must cooperate with supplying or obtaining sponsor information if sponsor deeming applies. If the applicant, enrollee, or sponsor fails to cooperate coverage may be closed. The Sponsor Letter (DHS-3453) reminds sponsors of their legal obligation to provide support and to request verification from the sponsor. 

Exceptions to MA Sponsor Deeming

The sponsorship ends and sponsor deeming no longer applies when any of the following changes occur:

  • The sponsored immigrant becomes a naturalized citizen

  • The sponsor or sponsored immigrant dies

  • The sponsored noncitizen has attained at least 40 work quarters as determined by the Social Security Administration

Sponsor deeming does not apply to sponsored noncitizens when the noncitizen:

  • is under age 21

  • is pregnant. This exception ends when the sponsored pregnant woman’s 60-day postpartum period ends. Sponsor deeming applies the month following the end of the postpartum period.

  • is sponsored by someone whose income has already been counted in the MAGI-based MA household, such as the applicant’s spouse

  • has sponsorship deferred by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) when their immigration status is changed to Battered Noncitizen

  • needs placement in a facility and placement is jeopardized by the sponsor’s failure or inability to provide support, or inability of the client to locate the sponsor

Exceptions to Form I-864 Sponsorship

Noncitizens who immigrate with a non-family based petition are not subject to sponsorship and sponsor deeming. These include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Battered noncitizens

  • Cuban Haitian entrants

  • Diversity visa recipients

  • Noncitizen sponsored by a business or organization that is not related to an immigrant

  • People with temporary protected status

  • Refugee and asylees

Legal Citations

Code of Federal Regulations, title 42, section 435.602

Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.06, subdivision 5

Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, title IV, Public Law 104–193, section 421 and 422