Can you collect disability and live in a foreign country?

Receiving social security disability benefits can be an arduous process. In fact, 70% of the claims that are submitted are denied the first time. If a claim is denied, it is not the end of the road – this is where a lawyer can significantly improve your chances of ultimately being approved for benefits.

If you are someone who has been approved for benefits, you certainly don’t want to risk losing them. If you are considering moving out of the country for retirement or another reason, the benefits you receive are certainly a consideration. Can you collect disability and live in a foreign country?

SSDI Outside of the U.S.

For the most part, as long as you are a citizen of the United States, you are able to receive social security disability benefits, with some caveats. The country that you are planning to move to must be an allowed country for payment of social security benefits. You will want to check with the Social Security Administration office to ensure that the country you are moving to is allowed to receive payment of these benefits.

The known list of countries that social security disability payments will currently not be sent to includes Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Cuba and multiple republics of the Soviet Union. While these are not common relocation destinations for United State citizens, it’s important to know the full list and that your desired country is not on that list. And it’s important to note that you are considered inside the United States in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and American Somoa, Again, make sure to contact the Social Security Administration office before making the move for the most updated information.

If you are a resident of the United States, but not a citizen, you may stop receiving benefits after six months if you don’t live in a country that has a social security agreement with the USA. On the other end, there are also countries that you can be a citizen of currently and receive SSDI. This list is a little more complex, so you will want to contact the Social Security Administration to verify your particular situation.

One other thing to note is that just because you move out of the country doesn’t mean that your disability reviews will stop. You will likely be required to return to the United States to complete your reviews, which happen at a gap of years dependent on your particular case.

SSI Outside of the U.S.

The rules are a bit different with SSI, as payments will be stopped if you move out of the United States. This will happen if you’ve been outside of the U.S. for 30 days, and payments will not be reinstated until you have been back for 30 days. An exception is children you received SSI who are in military families who leave due to their duty.

SSI also has different rules on what constitutes being in the country, as it does include the Northern Mariana Islands, but not Puerto Rico.

If you are considering a move, you will want to contact the Social Security Administration to ensure that what you are planning will not affect your benefits. They will also have the latest information on any changes.

We Are Here to Help

If you need help navigating through the benefits process or have been denied, please contact us at Tabak Law at 844-432-0114 or fill out our online form.

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