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Social Security Retirement Benefits For Non Citizens

Demographic And Revenue Projections

Non-citizens Social Security Disability Benefits
This section’s factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. The reason given is: Several of these projected dates have passed, and some language referring to data as ‘current’, ‘latest’, ‘most recent’, etc. is as old as 2005, or undated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information.

In 2005, this exhaustion of the OASDI Trust Fund was projected to occur in 2041 by the Social Security Administration or by 2052 by the Congressional Budget Office, CBO. Thereafter, however, the projection for the exhaustion date of this event was moved up slightly after the recession worsened the U.S. economy’s financial picture. The 2011 OASDI Trustees Report stated:

Annual cost exceeded non-interest income in 2010 and is projected to continue to be larger throughout the remainder of the 75-year valuation period. Nevertheless, from 2010 through 2022, total trust fund income, including interest income, is more than is necessary to cover costs, so trust fund assets will continue to grow during that time. Beginning in 2023, trust fund assets will diminish until they become exhausted in 2036. Non-interest income is projected to be sufficient to support expenditures at a level of 77 percent of scheduled benefits after trust fund exhaustion in 2036, and then to decline to 74 percent of scheduled benefits in 2085.

Ways to eliminate the projected shortfall

Whether Or Not Your Social Security Benefits Are Taxed Will Depend On Two Things: Whether Or Not Youre Earning Other Income And Where In The World You Are Residing

Depending on where in the world you live, if your sole income is from your Social Security payments, you will not be taxed on that income. That is unless you reside in a country in which there is no tax treaty. If you live in a foreign country in which an active tax treaty does not limit the amount you will be taxed, you will be subject to a non-resident alien tax rate of 25.5% of your Social Security distributions. If you are living in one of the following countries, your Social Security benefits will not be taxed:

Residents of Switzerland will only be subject to a tax rate of 15%. If you are residing in India and you are working a US Government job, you wont be taxed on any of your Social Security payments.

Private Retirement Savings Crisis

While inflation-adjusted stock market values generally rose from 1978 to 1997, from 1998 through 2007 they were higher than in March 2013. This has caused workers’ supplemental retirement plans such as 401s to perform substantially more poorly than expected when current retirees were investing the bulk of their savings in them. In 2010, the median household retirement account balance for workers aged 55 to 64 was $120,000, which will provide only a trivial supplement to Social Security benefits, but about a third of households had no retirement savings at all. 75% of Americans nearing retirement age had less than $30,000 in their retirement accounts, which Forbes called “the greatest retirement crisis in American history.”

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Fraud In The Acquisition And Use Of Benefits

Given the vast size of the program, fraud sometimes occurs. The Social Security Administration has its own investigatory unit to combat and prevent fraud, the Cooperative Disability Investigations Unit . The Cooperative Disability Investigations Program continues to be one of the most successful initiatives, contributing to the integrity of SSA’s disability programs. In addition when investigating fraud in other SSA programs, the Social Security Administration may request investigatory assistance from other law enforcement agencies including the Office of the Inspector General as well as state and local authorities.

Spouse’s Benefit And Government Pension Offsets


The spouse or divorced spouse of a retirement beneficiary is eligible for a Social Security spouse benefit if the spouse or divorced spouse is 62 or older. The benefit amount is equal to 50 percent of the retirement beneficiary’s Primary Insurance Amount if the spouse claims the benefit at the full retirement age or later. If a person is eligible for both a retirement benefit based the person’s own work in Social Security covered employment and a spouse benefit based on a spouse’s work in covered employment, SSA will pay a total amount approximately equal to the higher of the two benefits. For example, if at the full retirement age, a spouse claims a retirement benefit of $300 and a spouse benefit of $450, SSA will pay the person a $300 retirement benefit and a $150 dollar partial spouse benefit for a total benefit of $450.

A spouse is eligible after a one-year duration of marriage requirement is met and a divorced spouse is eligible for spousal benefits if the marriage lasted for at least ten years and the person applying is not currently married. Payment of benefits to a divorced spouse does not reduce the Social Security benefits of the retired worker or family members of the retired worker, such as the worker’s current spouse. A divorced person can claim spousal benefits once the former spouse is eligible for retirement benefits, regardless of whether the former spouse has claimed those retirement benefits.

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Claim That Politicians Exempted Themselves From The Tax

Critics of Social Security have said that the politicians who created Social Security exempted themselves from having to pay the Social Security tax. When the federal government created Social Security, all federal employees, including the president and members of Congress, were exempt from having to pay the Social Security tax, and they received no Social Security benefits. This law was changed by the Social Security Amendments of 1983, which brought within the Social Security system all members of Congress, the president and the vice president, federal judges, and certain executive-level political appointees, as well as all federal employees hired in any capacity on or after January 1, 1984. Many state and local government workers, however, are exempt from Social Security taxes because they contribute instead to alternative retirement systems set up by their employers.

What Social Security Provides

In response to the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt established the Social Security Act of 1935. This legislation offered protections and benefits for three major components of American society: retirees, surviving spouses, and the disabled.

While Social Security has expanded over the years, its core function as a pay-as-you-go system remains the same. Americas pension plan works like this: after taxing the income of current workers, that money is then used to pay out the benefits for retirees starting at the earliest age of 62.

As of January 2020, the average Social Security benefit was$1,503 per month. These numbers vary depending on age and other contributing factors. For individuals at full retirement age, for example, themaximum possible Social Security benefit is $3,011.

The question remains, can non-citizens access Social Security payouts?

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Report The Death Of A Social Security Or Medicare Beneficiary

You must report the death of a family member receiving Social Security or Medicare benefits. The Social Security Administration processes death reports for both. Find out how you can report a death and how to cancel benefit payments. In addition to canceling SSA and Medicare benefits, find out what other benefits and accounts you should cancel.

Social Security Service Around The World

Can Non Citizens Receive & Collect Social Security Benefits

Click this panel’s title to take you to the SSAs Office of Earnings & International Operations home page. The purpose of this site is to assist Social Security customers who are outside the U.S. or planning to leave the U.S.

OEIO is responsible for administering the Social Security program outside the U.S. and for the implementation of the benefit provisions of international agreements. Since SSA has no offices outside the U.S., OEIO is assisted by the Department of State’s embassies and consulates throughout the world.

Foreign Countries Served by Social Security Administration

If you live outside of the United States, there are a number of Social Security Field Offices and American embassies and consulates who have specially trained personnel to assist you in seeking Social Security services. You can access information to contact our Social Security and consular staff by locating your country in the link below:

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Receiving Social Security Benefits Outside The Us

With the exception of a few countries, workers can receive U.S. Social Security benefits regardless of where in the world they live. In some limited instances, Social Security will stop payments to non-U.S. citizens who have been outside the United States for six full calendar months, but resume them if the person returns to the U.S.

These rules are explained in depth in the Social Security booklet “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States.”

Whether your client is subject to Social Security taxes depends in part on whether they are in the U.S. as a resident or non-resident alien.

Receiving Benefits As A Us Citizen Living Abroad

While Social Security wasnt designed to be the sole source of income for retirees, it does make accommodations for those living abroad. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may continue to receive Social Security payments while you live abroad if you meet two conditions.

You are eligible for payment. This means that you qualify for Social Security benefits based on your earnings record.

When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits toward Social Security benefits. The number of credits you need in order to receive retirement benefits depends on when you were born. If you were born in 1929 or later, you need 40 credits .

If you left the workforce before you had enough credits to qualify for benefits, the credits will remain on your Social Security record. If you return to work later, you can add more credits to qualify.

The bottom line: The Social Security Administration cannot pay you any retirement benefits until you have the required number of credits.

You are in a country where the Social Security Administration can send payments. To find out whether the SSA can send payments to the country where you plan to spend your retirement, use the Social Security Administration’s Payment Abroad Screening Tool.

You will be notified of your eligibility based on the country you specify as your new residence.

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Who Is Eligible For Medicare

Generally, Medicare is available for people age 65 or older, younger people with disabilities and people with End Stage Renal Disease . Medicare has two parts, Part A and Part B . You are eligible for premium-free Part A if you are age 65 or older and you or your spouse worked and paid Medicare taxes for at least 10 years. You can get Part A at age 65 without having to pay premiums if:

  • You are receiving retirement benefits from Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Board.
  • You are eligible to receive Social Security or Railroad benefits but you have not yet filed for them.
  • You or your spouse had Medicare-covered government employment.

To find out if you are eligible and your expected premium, go the eligibility tool.

If you did not pay Medicare taxes while you worked, and you are age 65 or older and a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you may be able to buy Part A. If you are under age 65, you can get Part A without having to pay premiums if:

  • You have been entitled to Social Security or Railroad Retirement Board disability benefits for 24 months.
  • You are a kidney dialysis or kidney transplant patient.

While most people do not have to pay a premium for Part A, everyone must pay for Part B if they want it. This monthly premium is deducted from your Social Security, Railroad Retirement, or Civil Service Retirement check. If you do not get any of these payments, Medicare sends you a bill for your Part B premium every 3 months.

Allowance And Allowance For The Survivor


The Allowance is a monthly benefit for low-income seniors whose spouse or common-law partner is eligible for, or currently receiving, OAS and GIS benefits. You must apply to receive the Allowance. You may lose some benefits if you dont apply by age 60.

The Allowance for the Survivor provides money for eligible low-income seniors whose spouse or common-law partner has died. You must apply to receive the Allowance for the Survivor.

For more information about both the Allowance and Allowance for the Survivor programs, please go to:

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Old Age Security And The Guaranteed Income Supplement

The Old Age Security pension is a monthly benefit available to most Canadians 65 years of age who meet the Canadian legal status and residence requirements. You must apply to receive OAS benefits.

The Guaranteed Income Supplement provides a monthly non-taxable benefit to low-income OAS recipients living in Canada. You must apply to receive GIS benefits.

For more information about OAS and GIS, see:

Who Is Eligible For Social Security

According to the Social Security Administration, non-citizens who are lawfully in the United States and meet all requirements can get benefits.

These requirements include non-citizens who:

As with American citizens, legal immigrants can qualify for Social Security benefits if they earn enough work credits over their respective careers.

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Court Interpretation Of The Act To Provide Benefits

The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has indicated that the Social Security Act has a moral purpose and should be liberally interpreted in favor of claimants when deciding what counted as covered wages for purposes of meeting the quarters of coverage requirement to make a worker eligible for benefits. That court has also stated: “… he regulations should be liberally applied in favor of beneficiaries” when deciding a case in favor of a felon who had his disability payments retroactively terminated upon incarceration. According to the court, that the Social Security Act “should be liberally construed in favor of those seeking its benefits can not be doubted.” “The hope behind this statute is to save men and women from the rigors of the poor house as well as from the haunting fear that such a lot awaits them when journey’s end is near.”

Inflation Data Suggests That Social Security Beneficiaries Are Headed For A Big Cost

Budget Committee Hearing: Saving Social Security

Nearly nine out of ten people age 65 and older currently receive Social Security benefits, and the past year has been tough for many of those seniors. In 2022, the standard Medicare Part B premium climbed 14.5% to $170 per month. That figure accounts for 10.2% of the average monthly benefit paid to retired workers in August, up from 9.6% in 2021, meaning seniors had to shell out more of their Social Security checks to cover the cost of medical care this year. And that’s only the beginning of the problem.

Not only did the 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment enacted last year fail to cover to the rising cost of Medicare premiums, it also failed to keep up with inflation in general. Retirees have seen their benefits stretched thin by the rapidly rising prices of food, gas, electricity, and other necessities throughout the year. In fact, The Senior Citizens League estimates that the average Social Security benefit fell short by $417 year-to-date through August.

Fortunately, seniors are on pace to see a monster COLA in 2023.

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Who Is Eligible For Benefits

For non-U.S. citizens to be eligible for Social Security benefits, they must be in the country legally and have a Social Security number.

Non-citizens who are immigrating to the U.S. can often apply for a Social Security number in their home country at the same time that they apply for an immigrant visa with the U.S. Department of State. They can also apply after they arrive in the U.S. by visiting a Social Security office.

Non-immigrants can obtain a Social Security number by filling out an “Application for Employment Authorization” from the Department of Homeland Security , which, if approved, grants them permission to work legally in the U.S.

How To Get A Social Security Card

  • Gather your documents. Learn what documents you’ll need to get a card. Select your situation:
  • Original, replacement, or corrected card
  • U.S. born citizen, foreign-born U.S. citizen, or noncitizen
  • Apply online for a replacement card. Apply online if youre not changing anything on your card and you are eligible. This option is available in most states. You will need to make a my Social Security account first. Or complete an application. If you can not apply online, fill out an application and return it to the SSA. Find out where to take it in person or mail it.
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    What Conditions Qualify For Social Security Disability Insurance

    There is no set list of approved disabilities, but the Social Security Blue Book, also known as Disability Evaluation Under Social Security, is an online directory of physical and mental health conditions that automatically qualify if you meet the stringent requirements for diagnosis.

    For adults, they are broadly split into 14 categories.

    • Blood disorders like sickle cell anemia, thrombosis and hemophilia
    • Cancer, including Leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma, breast cancer and prostate cancer
    • Cardiovascular illnesses, such as congenital heart disease and heart failure
    • Cognitive andmental health conditions, such as bipolar disorder, dementia, depression and intellectual disabilities
    • Congenital disorders that affect multiple body systems, such as non-mosaic Down syndrome
    • Digestive system illnesses, such as bowel or liver disease
    • Endocrine disorders, such as diabetes, thyroid disease, hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia
    • Genitourinary disorders like chronic kidney disease
    • Immune system diseases like HIV, inflammatory arthritis and lupus
    • Musculoskeletal issues that are congenital or acquired, such as spinal disorders or amputations
    • Neurological disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and traumatic brain injuries
    • Respiratory illnesses, such as asthma, cystic fibrosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
    • Special sense and speech disorders, such as impaired hearing, sight and speech
    • Skin disorders, such as burns, dermatitis and ichthyosis

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