Can I still get my Social Security Disability Benefits If I'm Overseas?
Receiving Disability Benefits While Living Overseas
The Social Security Administration (SSA) allows certain individuals to receive disability benefits even if youre living abroad. It can be difficult to understand many of the rules and exceptions that SSA has in place. Normally, individuals can receive Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when living in or traveling to another country. This means that if you are only "traveling" you can still retain your disability benefits. Now if you leave the US, you may lose your SSI benefits if you leave the US for a period of 30 days or longer. Keep in mind that this only applies to SSI recipients and likely does not apply to SSDI recipients.
There are some exceptions to this general rule and your SSDI benefits may also be discontinued depending on the country you move to. A couple of exceptions regarding disability benefits overseas include Cuba and North Korea, as SSA is not allowed to send payments to these countries. Other countries that the SSA is unable to send payments to include: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, and Ukraine.
If a disability recipient moves to another county that is ALLOWED to send payments to, they will still be able to receive the disability payments owed to them while living in one of the restricted countries.
SSI Benefit Payments
SSI payments are different than SSDI payments. With SSI benefits, if a U.S. citizen is outside the country for 30 days, SSA will stop paying SSI benefits. Once that individual moves back to the U.S., SSA will begin making SSI payments again. But you may not want to be away too long because you may be asked to refile your SSI claim when you move back to the US. The only individuals who are able to receive SSI payments while overseas for longer than 30 days are children of military personnel who are enrolled in SSI. Children can still receive SSI payments if they move with their parents to another country due to military service.
Its always best to consult with an experienced attorney if you have any questions related to this issue. Attorney Christopher Le can help answer any of your questions.