Disability Group, Inc.

Disability Benefits While Living Outside of the U.S.

I am a U.S. citizen living outside the United States.  Will I still receive my Social Security disability benefits?

It depends. You are considered “outside of the United States” if you are not living:

  • – In one of the 50 states;
  • – The District of Columbia;
  • – Puerto Rico;
  • – The U.S. Virgin Islands;
  • – Guam;
  • – The Northern Mariana Islands; OR
  • – American Samoa.

In addition, if you have been outside the United States for 30 days or more in a row, you are considered to be outside of the country. Once you reside in the United States for 30 days or more in a row, you will no longer be considered to be outside of the United States.

If you are a U.S. citizen and living outside of the United States, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States if:

  • – You are eligible for them; AND
  • – You are living in a country Social Security can send your disability benefits.

I am not a U.S. citizen.  I have been awarded Social Security disability benefits but am now living outside the United States.  Will I receive my Social Security disability benefits?

It depends.  If you are a citizen of certain countries, you can still receive Social Security disability benefits if you are eligible for them.  You should contact Social Security to determine if you can still receive benefits.

Are there any countries Social Security will not send my disability benefits?

Yes.  The U.S. Department of the Treasury regulations prohibit sending payments to you if you are in Cuba or North Korea.

Social Security restrictions prohibit sending payments to individuals living in Cambodia, Vietnam, or areas that were in the former Soviet Union (other than Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia).

If you are a U.S. citizen and living in Cuba or North Korea, you can receive all of your withheld payments once you leave those countries and go to a country where Social Security can send payments.

If you are not a U.S. citizen and reside in Cuba or North Korea, you will not receive benefits during the months you reside in Cuba or North Korea.  Also, you will not receive the withheld benefits while you were in Cuba or North Korea even if you moved to a country where Social Security can send benefits.

For more information about how living outside the United States affects your Social Security disability benefits, please visit www.ssa.gov.

If you have any further questions, please contact your local SSA office or an experienced Social Security attorney.

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