Can You Receive Social Security Disability and Retirement if You Move Out of the Country?

The Social Security Administration (SSA) will send checks to anyone who is eligible for Social Security Disability benefits or Social Security Retirement Benefits and is living abroad. However, there are a few countries where the SSA is not allowed to send checks. If a person eligible for benefits moves to Cuba or North Korea they cannot receive any checks while they are in either country, but they can get any withheld checks if they go to a country where paychecks can be sent.

In addition, the SSA generally does not send Social Security checks to Cambodia, Vietnam, or areas that were in the former Soviet Union (other than Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia), but those eligible for benefits may be able to apply for an exception. In such cases, those eligible for benefits may have to agree to certain conditions, such as appearing in person at the U.S. embassy each month, to receive benefits.

The rules for receiving Social Security disability or retirement overseas do not apply to Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. Most recipients of SSI are not entitled to benefits outside the United States. SSI benefits will stop if a recipient is outside the United States for more than 30 days, and benefits won’t start up again until the recipient is back in the country for at least 30 days. However, there are exceptions for dependent children of military personnel and students studying abroad.