Yes, You’re Covered by Social Security When You Are Outside the U.S.

Social Security has you covered, even outside the United States. Many people who travel or live outside the country receive some kind of Social Security retirement of disability benefit.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments “outside the United States” as long as you are eligible.

“Outside the United States,” means you’re not in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa.

Once you’ve been outside the United States for at least 30 days in a row, Social Security considers you to be outside the country. Whether you’re in Europe or the Caribbean, you may be able to receive your Social Security benefits even while you’re outside the United States.

If you receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI), you cannot receive benefits if you’re outside of the United States for a month or more.

If you’re traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last.

To find out if you can continue to receive your Social Security benefits if you are outside the United States or are planning to go outside the United States, visit this online tool.

This tool will help you find out if your retirement, disability, or survivor’s payments will continue as long as you are eligible, stop after six consecutive calendar months, or if certain country-specific restrictions apply.

When you live outside the United States, Social Security will send you a questionnaire periodically. Your answers will help them figure out if you still are eligible for benefits. Return the questionnaire to the office that sent it as soon as possible. If you don’t, your payments will stop.

Posted by Sheri R. Abrams, Attorney at Law,

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