If you have been approved for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), there could come a time when you want to move out of the US and seek residency in another country. You certainly do not want to lose the benefits that you have become accustomed to receiving, so you want to research your options carefully. Read on and find out more about residency issues and SSDI benefits.
Losing Your Benefits
SSDI benefits are not a one-and-done type of thing. While your retirement benefits are usually secure, your SSDI benefits are based on several factors that could change at any time. For instance, if your medical condition improves and you can work and earn an income again, you could lose your benefits. The amount of money you can earn each month is also closely monitored for compliance with SSDI rules. In addition, those accused of various crimes and types of fraud could lose all government benefits including SSDI.
Citizens of the US and SSDI
The two main qualifications for SSDI are that you have paid enough into the system through payroll deductions and that your medical condition meets the Social Security Administration (SSA) guidelines. Not required, however, is US citizenship and this facet can surprise many people. Only citizens of certain countries with an unfriendly relationship with the US cannot qualify for SSDI by working in the US. These include Cuba and North Korea.
Residency and SSDI
While it's not necessary to be a citizen of the US, you do have to reside in the US when you first apply for benefits. However, if you plan to move to a country such as Cuba or North Korea, you won't be able to have your payments sent to those countries. If you plan to move to a few other countries, you cannot have your payments sent but they will be held for you until you return. There are other rules about returning periodically to the US for some who are residing in other countries. Be sure you understand what you must do to avoid losing your benefits before you leave the country.
When Benefits Are Cut
Unfortunately, some claimants end up getting their benefits cut for unfair reasons. If that happens to you, know that you have only a certain amount of time to appeal the SSA decision. Speak to a Social Security attorney in the US to find out what you can do to get your benefits restored as soon as possible. In many cases, an administrative error could be the cause of the stoppage of benefits. Your lawyer will work with you to find out more and appear with you at the appeal hearing to straighten things out.