What Happens to My Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) if I Leave the Country?

You should be able to receive your SSDI if you go to a foreign country, as long as you are a U.S. citizen or meet certain requirements if you’re not a citizen.

You rely on your Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) to pay your bills and cover your basic expenses. However, now you’re thinking about moving outside of the United States. You’re wondering: Will I be able to keep receiving my SSDI payments in a foreign country? Learn more before you make your move.

Receiving SSDI in Another Country

If you’re a U.S. citizen and you move to a foreign country, you will still be able to receive your payments. The only exceptions to this rule are North Korea and Cuba, where the U.S. government will absolutely not send your money. Once you move from one of these countries back to the U.S. or to another country that’s not prohibited, then you can receive all the payments the government withheld while you were living there. Additionally, you may not be able to receive your money if you go to Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, but you could be eligible for an exception.

What If You’re Not a U.S. Citizen?

If you are not a U.S. citizen, you must meet the following requirements:

  • The applicant must have been eligible for monthly Social Security benefits on or before December 1956.
  • The worker whose record the benefits are based on died while in military service and either incurred a service-connected disability or was honorably discharged.

And if you’re a survivor or dependent, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Initial monthly benefit eligibility before Jan. 1, 1985.
  • Entitlement based on the record of a worker who died during American military service or is deceased due to a service-connected disease or injury.
  • You’re a citizen of an approved country for distributions.

Working With Schott Law

If you need help with your SSDI now that you’re moving to a foreign country, Schott Law is here for you. Maggie Schott is an SSDI & SSI lawyer serving Washington and Idaho. Contact us now at (509) 328-5789 to start your application.