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Collecting Social Security Disability Benefits while Outside the U.S.

If you are collecting Social Security Disability benefits, and you’re planning to leave the United States for any extended period of time, you can still collect your payments if your trip falls within certain guidelines. 

The Social Security Administration defines “outside the United States” as going anywhere not in the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. If you have been out of the U.S. for at least 30 days in a row, you are considered to be outside the country until you come back and stay in America for at least 30 days in a row. 

There are certain countries you can go to as a legal U.S. citizen and collect Social Security Disability for as long as you are eligible. Those countries are:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea (South)
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom

There are also certain countries where you are unable to receive payments from the United States. Usually, if you’re in one of these countries, you can receive all of your withheld payments once you leave that country and go to another country where payments can be sent. You will not be able to receive payments if you go to:

  • Cuba
  • North Korea
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • Areas of the former Soviet Union (other than Armenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia)

There are so many different exceptions and rules depending on whether you’re a legal U.S. citizen, a dependent/survivor of the worker, and how long you’re gone. It’s best to speak with your local Social Security office before going on a long trip outside of the country to make sure you are still eligible to receive your benefits. 

If you would like assistance with your Social Security Disability benefits, do not hesitate to contact a Social Security attorney. Harrisburg is home to Schmidt Kramer, a reputable SSDI and SSI law firm with years of experience. Contact us today for a free consultation at (717) 888-8888.