President Clinton signs the PRWORAThe Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996, portrayed as a major welfare reform, eliminated eligibility for SSI for millions of noncitizens, including legal permanent residents and refugees.

The law also removed substance abuse as a category of eligibility for Social Security income programs. About 935,000 noncitizens lost benefits as a result of the enactment of PRWORA; a 1997 revision made elderly and disabled immigrants eligible for Social Security, Medicaid and food stamps. The Coalition trained hundreds of providers about the new rules and worked with immigrant advocates locally and nationally to change noncitizen provisions.

Major support came from the Chicago Community Trust, the Woods Fund, and the Wieboldt Foundation.

Keep up with the latest from Smart Policy Works
Explore 25 years of change that mattered
Take a look at what we're up to now