Can Non-Citizens Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Can Non-Citizens Get Social Security Disability Benefits?

Non-Citizens & Social Security Disability Benefits
Non-citizens may qualify for social security benefits.

You may think that only American citizens can qualify for Social Security disability benefits. However, non-citizens may apply as well, as the SSA considers them qualified under certain conditions. Qualified non-citizens have a few criteria to meet. If an immigrant, they must reside permanently or legally work in the United States. As long as they paid taxes into the Social Security system, they could apply for disability benefits as qualified non-citizens.

The 7 Conditions of Qualified Non-Citizens

To be a qualified alien, non-citizens fall in one of seven categories. You could qualify if you are:

  • A permanent resident lawfully admitted into the United States.
  • Granted conditional entry under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as in effect before April 1, 1980.
  • Paroled into the United States under the INA for at least a year
  • A refugee admitted into the United States under the INA
  • Granted asylum under the INA.

You could also qualify if:

  • The INA  withholds deportation or removal.
  • The Refugee Education Assistance Act of 1980 categorizes you as a Haitian or Cuban immigrant
  • You qualify as an entrant from Haiti or Cuba for Supplemental Security Insurance (SSI) purposes.

Additional Conditions for Disability Benefits for Qualified Aliens

Being classified as a qualified non-citizen means that you could qualify for disability benefits. It doesn’t automatically qualify you for them, though. So, a number of conditions must qualify to receive approval for benefits. These conditions include the following:

  • On August 22, 1996, you lawfully lived in the United States and received SSI.
  • You legally reside in the United States and have earned 40 credits of work. Work done by your parents or spouse may count towards those 40 credits. However, they will only help you qualify for SSI, not disability benefits. Additionally, credits earned after December 31, 1996 won’t be counted. This is only if you, your spouse or your parents were given specific benefits by the American government as a result of limited income and resources
  • You legally resided in the U.S. on August 22, 1996 and you’re also blind or disabled.
  • You were either an honorably discharged veteran or you are on active duty in the U.S. armed forces. This may also apply if you are the spouse, parent or child of certain American military personnel.

You must meet these conditions to qualify for disability benefits.

Other SSI Conditions

However, there are a number of other conditions you can use to qualify for SSI as well, such as being:

  • Given immigration status by the Department of Homeland Security within seven years of filing for SSI (This includes refugees, asylees, aliens with withheld deportation, Cuban or Haitian entrants, and Amerasian immigrants).
  • An American Indian born in Canada admitted to the country under the INA
  • A non-citizen member of an Indian tribe federally recognized under the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act.
  • A victim of severe forms of human tracking as defined by the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • An Afghan or Iraqi national admitted as a special immigrant for work done as a translator or interpreter.

For more information about qualified aliens and disability benefits, contact us online or give us a call at 602-952-3200 for a free consultation today. Don’t forget, you can use our online LiveChat feature, too, to chat with an online representative.

This is attorney advertising. SSDA, LLC is a group of attorneys that pursues claims for Social Security Disability benefits on behalf of its clients against the Social Security Administration. SSDA, LLC is in no way a part of the Social Security Administration. Further, the information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, a representative-client relationship.

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