Many non-citizens who live and work in the United States are not aware that they are eligible for Social Security benefits. In June 2018, the average Social Security benefit was $1,413 per month. While a variety of circumstances impact how much a person receives, these benefits are frequently critical for both citizens and non-citizens. Discover about Social Security benefits for non-US residents living in other countries.
Who is eligible to collect Social Security benefits outside the US?
The rules for collecting Social Security benefits outside the United States vary depending on whether you are a U.S. citizen or a non-US citizen. Here are some fundamentals.
- If you are a US citizen: The Social Security Administration (SSA) will consider you to be outside the nation if you spend more than 30 consecutive days outside the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. If you are a US citizen, you can get retirement, disability, or survivor benefits while traveling overseas as long as you meet the standard eligibility requirements.
- If you are a non-US citizen: Non-US citizens may face varying requirements based on their citizenship, where they live, and the sort of Social Security payments they receive.The ‘totalization agreement’ establishes the rules for the US and more than 25 other countries. A totalization agreement serves two main purposes. The first is to avoid double taxation, which prevents the ex-pat from contributing to two distinct insurance systems.
You may be needed to meet additional residence criteria if you receive dependent or survivor payments, as stated in the Social Security brochure, ‘Your Benefits While You Are Outside the United States. In rare situations, Social Security will discontinue payments to individuals who leave the country for six months or longer, but will restore payments if the person returns for at least one month.