Receiving Social Security Disability Benefits While You Are Outside the United States

By Kenton Koszdin on January 15, 2013

If you qualify for Social Security disability (SSD) benefits, you may continue to receive these benefits even if you leave the United States – for instance, if you decide to travel for more than thirty days. An experienced southern California Social Security disability benefits attorney can help you understand how the rules for traveling and receiving benefits apply to your specific situation.

Here is an overview of the process for receiving SSD benefits while you’re outside the U.S.:

SSD Benefits while Traveling Abroad

  • Outside the United States” means you’re not in one of the 50 states, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, or American Samoa. – all of which are considered to be “inside” the United States.
  • Generally speaking, you have thirty daysto be abroad before you’re thought to be “outside the United States.” You must return to the U.S. for at least thirty days in order to switch back to being “inside.”
  • Benefits aren’t available in all countries. The SSA maintains a list of countries to which it may not send Social Security benefits. If you are visiting or living in one of these countries, you may not be able to receive your benefits while you are there.
  • Check your status. If you’re receiving benefits as a surviving spouse or a dependent, you may not be able to receive them in some countries, or the amount of time you can receive them may be limited.

Contact a southern California SSD benefits attorney to learn more or to discuss how you can receive benefits at home or abroad.

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