Can Non-Citizens Receive Disability Benefits?

Parmele Law FirmSocial Security

One of the hottest issues in the press currently involves immigrants and what benefits they are afforded in the United States. And while the focus is largely on border security and immigration issues, there are other issues that have to be considered when considering the needs of non-citizens. Disability is a benefit provided for by social security and most recipients are United States citizens but there are cases where a non-citizen can receive benefits. If you are not a citizen of the United States but believe you are entitled to receive disability benefits it is best to sit down with a qualified attorney before making an application. The process is complicated and several issues regarding residency should be addressed before seeking these benefits. Below is a general break down of how the system works for a non-citizen, but each case is unique and requires special attention in order to come to the right conclusion.

In order for a non-citizen to get Social Security Disability (SSDI) payments or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), the following criteria must be met:

  • The Social Security Administration must have issued a social security number, after January 1, 2004 authorizing the non-citizen to work in the United States. OR
    • The non-citizen must have a non-immigrant Visa AND
    • The non-citizen must be able to show that they are legally in the United States for the months benefits are paid AND
    • The remaining SSDI and SSI requirements must be met, such as medical condition and determination of disability.

Most non-citizens will not be able to meet the criteria to qualify for SSDI or SSI payments, but it is always worth talking it over with a knowledgeable attorney. The procedure is much more complex for a non-citizen, but asking the right questions and getting answers helps identify which benefits, if any, a non-citizen is entitled to receive. A comprehensive review of the facts of your case and your specific non-citizen status is required to make a proper determination, and we can give that to you after examining your case. We have experience with SSDI and SSI cases of all types and are ready to answer questions and pursue benefits for both citizens and non-citizens who qualify.

If you have questions about social security disability benefits as a non-citizen, call an experienced attorney for help. Contact us online today for more information. We can also be reached at 855-727-6353.