Non-Citizens and Social Security

Non-Citizens and Social Security

Social Security pays retirement and disability benefits to millions of Americans, but the benefits aren’t just provided to United States citizens. Non-citizens may qualify for Social Security benefits if they meet the requirements of the laws set in place for non-citizens. The following article will explore the details of Social Security for non-citizens. If you are looking for help with your benefits questions, contact Liner Legal, Social Security professionals and attorneys in Cleveland, Ohio.

In August of 1996, laws were set in place for non-citizens as requirements to be eligible for Social Security benefits. The requirements are: you must be in a qualified alien category and meet a condition that qualifies you to get SSI. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) must deem you to fit into one of the seven categories of qualified aliens. Click here to view the seven categories.

If you fit into one of the seven qualified categories, you may be eligible for SSI for a number of reasons. Some of the things that would allow you to receive SSI are:

  • You are blind or disabled and lawfully resided in the United States on or before August 22, 1996
  • You were lawfully admitted into the U.S. under the Immigration and Nationality Act for permanent residence, and you, your spouse, or parent have 40 total work credits within the U.S.
  • You are an active duty military member
  • You are a non-citizen member of a federally recognized Indian tribe

There are more ways to be eligible for payments, so if you are unsure about your eligibility, contact a Social Security Office to find out.

If you apply for SSI, you do need to provide proof of your immigration status, and you may need to show proof of your military service if you were or are in the armed forces. Contact Liner Legal in Cleveland to find out what other sorts of evidence you may need to prove your status.

If you entered the United States and someone signed an agreement with the DHS to support you, that person is called your sponsor. Your sponsor’s income and resources count as your own, and they may affect your claim for Social Security.

It can be confusing to understand the seven qualified alien categories and to know if you meet the requirements to qualify for Social Security benefits as a non-citizen. Talking to a Social Security office or an attorney who is experienced in Social Security cases and claims can help you understand your benefits. Contact the professionals at Liner Legal in Cleveland to learn more about your Social Security benefits.