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Social Security Disability Income And U.S. Citizenship: What To Know

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If you are among those who have worked at your job for years but are now unable to do so due to a medical condition, you may need SSDI. Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) is one of many government-run programs that provide those in need with a monthly payment when they are too sick to continue working. Most people are under the impression that these benefits are only for U.S. citizens, but that may not always be the case. Read on to learn more about it.

Income and not charity

Many are too proud to ask for help when they need it, but you should understand that seeking SSDI benefits is the same thing as taking your own money out of the bank. Each and every paycheck you earn has SSDI deductions, and this money is set aside for you in case of disability or when you reach retirement age. If you've not made enough money or worked enough years, you may not be eligible for SSDI benefits. If you are too sick to work, contact your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office for help with determining eligibility.

Have you made deposits but are not a citizen?

Some might be surprised to learn that non-citizens get SSDI taken from their pay just like citizens do and for this reason they are also eligible for benefits if they qualify. Instead of citizenship, the SSA looks at how long you've worked, how much money you've made and your medical condition to determine whether or not you get benefits. There are, however, a few exceptions that are more political in nature and are related to the reason you are in this country.

Three countries and exceptions

Due to the strained relationships between the U.S. and these three countries, people who are citizens of Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam cannot be paid SSDI benefits.

Are you here lawfully?

Only those who possess certain visas or are here due to certain circumstances can get SSDI. At least one of the following must be true for you to gain SSDI benefits:

1. You have an immigrant visa.

2. You have been admitted under an asylum status.

3. You are the victim of cruelty or battering while in the U.S. due to the nature of your work. For example, if you are a mistreated domestic worker.

4. You've been admitted as a refugee.

5. You are here on a temporary basis and possess a non-immigrant visa.

6. You've been admitted because of humanitarian reasons.

If you've met the qualifications but were denied your benefits, speak to a Social Security law office like Attorney John B. Martin Law Offices about your appeal.