Can I receive social security benefits if I am living abroad?

Personal Injury Lawyer

If you are living abroad, or planning to move outside of the U.S., and are on Social Security, you may wonder whether or not your benefits will be interrupted. In general, if you are living in a U.S. territory or are only away from the U.S. for less than 30 days, your social security benefits will not be interrupted. If you plan on living outside of the United States for a longer period of time, or you are going to live or visit certain countries, you may be hindered from receiving your benefits. That being said, as a social security lawyer might explain to you, you may be able to continue to receive social security as long as you complete the necessary forms as requested by the Social Security Administration. 

Factors That May Affect Your Disability Payments

You will need to follow different rules and procedures depending on whether you are on Social Security Disability Insurance or Supplemental Security Income. In general, if you are on Social Security Disability insurance, your benefits will likely continue if:

  • You are a United States citizen
  • Your disability is based upon your work record
  • You are residing in an approved country
  • You will stay in that country for no more than six months

If you plan to stay abroad for more than six months, you or a social security lawyer will need to complete special paperwork and submit it to the SSA. You may also be asked to come back to the U.S. for a hearing. 

If you are on Supplemental Security Income, you may be unable to use your social security benefits while you are abroad. In general, the SSA will not continue your check if you are outside of the United States for more than 30 days. After you return, you can ask the SSA to continue your benefits. 

Some Countries Will Not Allow You to Receive Your Benefits

The United States has made certain agreements with select countries so that its citizens can receive social security benefits. However, there are countries in which payments cannot be sent to. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Azerbaijan
  • Belarus
  • Moldova
  • Tajikistan
  • Turkmenistan
  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Uzbekistan
  • Ukraine

If you are concerned about your social security disability benefits being stopped, or you would like to contest benefits that have been disrupted after leaving the U.S., it may be a good idea to call a social security lawyer. A lawyer may also be able to examine your case to determine whether or not there are any further options to pursue compensation. 

Call  an Attorney Today

If you are receiving social security benefits and are planning to travel or move abroad, you should consider how doing so could affect your payments. Often, you will only need to complete special documents and submit them to the SSA. However, sometimes you will need to do more. If you would like help and advice, call a social security disability income attorney in Bristol, VA.



Thanks to The Law Office of Mark T. Hurt for their insight into Social Security disability law.