Can I Receive SSDI And SSI If I’m A Non-Citizen?


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Can I Receive SSDI and SSI if I’m a Non-Citizen?

Published on April 3rd, 2021 by Eric Slepian

Navigating social security disability benefits can sometimes be tricky, and if you’re a non-citizen, there are even more hurdles you may have to overcome when registering. In short, yes- you can receive SSDI and SSI benefits if you’re a non-citizen of the United States. However, there are extra qualifications you must meet.

Being a “Qualified Alien”

If you’re a non-citizen, you can still receive SSDI benefits if you’ve worked a certain amount, have a qualifying disability, and if you’re considered a “qualified alien” according to the SSA. The main categories to be considered in this group include having a green card, if you’re a refugee or have been granted asylum, if the US government is withholding your deportation, if you’ve been “paroled in” to the US, and if you’re an immigrant and you and/or a close family member have experienced extreme cruelty. Other qualifying alien groups are outlined by the SSA.

Further Qualifications for SSDI

If you are a qualified alien, you still must have a qualifying disability and amount of work done to receive the benefits. However, there are other qualifying factors you may meet, such as if you or your spouse are currently serving or were honorably discharged from the US military. If you’re not deemed a qualified alien, you may still be eligible under certain qualifications, such as if you’re part of a federal recognized American Indian tribe, if you’re a certain American Indian born in Canada but now living in the US, if you’re Iraqi or Afghan national and worked for a translator for the US government abroad, or if you were a victim of human trafficking.

Qualifications for SSI Benefits

Like SSDI benefits, there are many specific qualifications that may allow you to receive SSI benefits in Mesa, AZ, some of which include being lawfully admitted for permanent residence, being granted asylum, being a Cuban or Haitan entrant, or being an alien whose removal is being withheld. In addition, you must be in one of another set of classifications, which include you or a spouse being a veteran or active duty member of the United States Army, if you were lawfully residing in the US on August 22nd 1996 and you’re blind or disabled, or you’re a victim of human trafficking, among others.

Why Having a Social Security Disability Lawyer is Important

Being granted SSDI and/or SSI benefits as a non-citizen can be extremely tricky. If you get denied benefits, you must appeal and go through a hearing process. This is why hiring a skilled and experienced lawyer for applying is extremely important; if you try to apply without representation and get denied, it’s then extremely difficult to win a second time, especially without a lawyer by your side. Our team at Slepian Smith Ellexson, PLLC is ready to fight for your rights and get you the benefits you deserve. Don’t do it alone- regardless of your citizen status, call today to schedule a consultation to find out how we can guide you through the Social Security benefits process.

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