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Do You Have to Be a U.S. Citizen to Get Disability Benefits?

Published on January 17th, 2020

Have you factored in citizenship when it comes to whether or not you can obtain disability benefits? While it’s true that the majority of Social Security disability recipients are U.S. citizens, this is not a requirement in order to obtain benefits. It’s also important to understand that there are two disability programs: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). The purpose of SSDI is to pay benefits to you and other family members while SSI is based on financial need if you haven’t worked long enough to qualify for SSDI. Our social security lawyers in Chicago have broken down the important facts regarding citizenship and disability benefits.

Are Non-Citizens Considered?

Yes! You can qualify to receive benefits even if you aren’t a U.S. citizen. You’ll need to prove that your disability hinders your ability to work in addition to the fact that you are a lawful U.S. citizen. It’s important to note that generally speaking, federal law requires Social Security taxes to be paid regardless of citizenship. 

Where You’re From Matters

Certain countries prohibit the earning of disability benefits regardless of if they qualify. Residents of Cuba, North Korea or Vietnam may not be able to receive benefits. If you’re from a country that allows for benefits, you also must provide the Social Security Administration proof of immigration status. 

Our Team is Here to Help

Our social security lawyers in Chicago understand the ins and outs of the application process and can help you navigate this seemingly complicated time. We look forward to helping you! Contact us today for your free case evaluation.

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