Human Trafficking SSI Advocacy

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Helping ease the suffering faced by child and adult victims of human trafficking

Human Trafficking SSI Advocacy

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, “Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by improper means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them.”1 Human trafficking is the second largest illegal business in the world after drug trafficking. The International Labour Organization estimates that there are 20.9 million victims around the globe each year.2 The statistics on children who are victims of human trafficking are equally staggering. Of the more than 11,800 endangered runaways who were reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2015, one in five were likely victims of child sex trafficking.

MAXIMUS Can Help

MAXIMUS is committed to helping ease the suffering faced by these vulnerable populations.

A Social Security Administration (SSA) stipulation allows victims of human trafficking to receive help despite being in the country illegally because they were brought here against their will. Additionally, the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) contains a clause that grants Medicaid and Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) assistance to eligible non-citizens in the following groups:

  • Qualified non-citizens who entered before August 1996
  • Qualified immigrants who reach the end of a 5-year waiting period (i.e., lawful permanent residents/green card holders)
  • Qualified immigrants exempt from the 5-year waiting period (e.g., refugees, asylees, Cuban/Haitian entrants, trafficking  victims, veteran families)

MAXIMUS Benefits and Eligibility Assessment Services (BEAS) professionals work with city, state and federal agencies to provide Supplemental Security Income (SSI) advocacy for victims of human trafficking, particularly children. Children who are victims of human trafficking under the federal qualified immigrant exemption are eligible to receive a medical screening in support of their application to obtain SSI benefits. These benefits are critical to helping the children regain some semblance of a normal life when they are ready to leave specialized placement. 

1 https://www.unodc.org/unodc/en/human-trafficking/index.html?ref=menuside. Accessed May 4, 2016.

2 http://www.ilo.org/global/lang--en/index.htm. Accessed May 6, 2016.