Can I Continue Receiving Disability Benefits After Leaving the United States?

Many people think that Social Security Disability payments must cease if an individual leaves the country. However that does not necessarily have to be the case. In some circumstances, SSD payments can continue despite your absence from the United States. However, in other instances payment may be prohibited due to US Treasury or Social Security regulations. Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak, can help you understand what affect leaving the US and traveling to and staying in another country can have on your Rogers SSD benefits.

When Does the SSA Consider You “Out of the Country”?

The Social Security Administration does not consider an individual to be outside of the US unless they are not present in one of the 50 states, Washington D.C., The U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. Furthermore, the SSA will not consider you to be outside of the US until you have been out of the country for 30 days in a row, or more. The SSA will consider you to be back in the United States after returning to the country and spending 30 consecutive days in it. If you are not a US citizen, you will have to prove that your presence in the US was lawful.

To Which Countries Can Payments be Made?

The effect on your ability to receive Social Security Disability benefits while outside of the United States is dependent on your citizenship status and the country that you have traveled and chosen to stay in. If you are a citizen of one of the following countries, we will continue your U.S. Social Security payments as long as you are eligible, no matter how long you stay outside the United States:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • South Korea
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

A citizen of the following countries is typically able to receive payments while they are outside of the United States. However, if they are receiving survivor or dependent benefits then additional requirements apply. These countries are:

  • Albania
  • Antigua and
  • Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Bahama Islands
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Bulgaria
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Gabon
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mexico
  • States of Micronesia
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Nicaragua
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Kitts and Nevis
  • Lucia
  • Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

For non US citizens located in all of the countries listed thus far, payments will be halted after 6 months unless you can satisfy an exception to this rule. Exceptions that will permit your payments to continue include:

  • You are an active US military or naval serviceman or woman.
  • You were eligible to receive Social Security benefits for December 1956.
  • The worker on whose benefits you are drawing upon was killed while serving the US military or developed a service-related disability. The individual cannot have been discharged dishonorably.
  • The worker on whose benefits you are drawing upon covered railroad employment.

The final exception is that you are a resident of a nation that has a Social Security agreement with the United States. Countries with a Social Security agreement include most countries in Western Europe, Canada, South Korea, Chile, Australia, and Japan. If no exception applies to you, you will have to return to the United States for a minimum of 30 days before your payments can be restarted.

Are There Countries to Which Payments Cannot be Sent?

The U.S. Treasury prohibits transactions making payments into the countries of Cuba and North Korea. If you are a non-citizen, you typically cannot receive payments for the months you were in these countries. For US citizens, however, you are typically able to receive the payments for the months you were in North Korea after arriving in a country where payments can be made.

As per Social Security rules, payments cannot be made to beneficiaries in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. However, under certain circumstances exceptions can be made. If an exception is made, one typical condition that is imposed is that payments must be picked-up in person by the named beneficiary

Let an Experienced Arkansas Social Security Lawyer Fight for You

For more than 20 years, Ken Kieklak has provided trusted guidance to injured Arkansans who can no longer work. Regardless of your particular severe injury of impairment, the Social Security Disability lawyer Ken Kieklak strive to provide clear and well-considered answers to your SSD questions. To schedule a free and confidential consultation, call (479) 316-0438 or contact us online.