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SSDI for Foreign Nationals

SSDI Lawyers in Chicago for Foreign Nationals

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) provides a safety net for workers who have paid into the system and become disabled. Many foreign nationals who work in the United States are covered under this program and may be eligible for disability benefits even though they are not citizens of the country. All employees are required to pay Social Security taxes so they may be covered under SSDI. If you aren’t a citizen or a permanent resident, have questions about SSDI for foreign nationals, the seasoned Chicago Social Security attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca may be able to help.

SSDI for Foreign Nationals

Most people who receive SSDI benefits are American citizens. However, foreign nationals who are permanent residents and have paid sufficient taxes into the system are eligible for SSDI. Foreign nationals who are veterans or active duty members of the United States military are also eligible for SSDI benefits. You must be able to show you’re legally in the country and meet other SSDI criteria in order to qualify.

You won’t be able to obtain SSDI if you’re an exchange visitor or nonimmigrant foreign student that worked temporarily and didn’t pay Social Security taxes. If you didn’t pay into the system, you won’t be able to get disability benefits. Additionally, there are some countries where residents aren’t able to obtain benefits, such as North Korea and Vietnam.

As a foreign national who is a resident alien seeking SSDI benefits, you’ll need to demonstrate that one of these circumstances is the reason you’re lawfully in the country: (1) you were admitted as a refugee, (2) you’re temporarily visiting on a nonimmigrant visa, (3) you have asylum status or your application for this status is pending, (4) your deportation was withheld or your application for this relief is pending, (5) you were subjected to cruelty by a family member while in the country, or (6) you’re a member of a class of people allowed to stay in the country for humanitarian or other public policy reasons. A skilled SSDI lawyer can review your case to determine whether you may be able to meet one of these requirements.

Totalization Agreements

The United States has entered into totalization agreements with other countries. These remove taxation for Social Security where a foreign national works somewhere else and needs to pay Social Security taxes to both countries. There are totalization agreements in place between the United States and the following countries: United Kingdom, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, South Korea, Portugal, Norway, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Germany, France, Finland, Chile, Canada, Belgium, Austria, and Australia.

Sometimes a United States citizen moves out of the country and seeks SSDI. You can continue to get SSDI payments in spite of being abroad if you are eligible for them, depending on the country in which you live. However, if you’re a foreign national who gets SSDI and you leave the country, you’ll need to come back to the United States every 30 days or for 30 consecutive days in a 6-month period in order to keep getting SSDI benefits. The exception is if you are a foreign national on active military duty for the United States or if you are a citizen of a country with which the United States has a treaty allowing for benefits to continue to be paid. These countries are Japan, Israel, Ireland, Greece, and Germany. Citizens of the Netherlands can get partial benefits.

Consult an Experienced SSDI Attorney in Chicago

If you’re concerned about obtaining SSDI as a foreign national in Chicago, you can call our firm. Many valid SSDI claims are denied, and it can be helpful to have someone on your side navigating the system on your behalf. The skilled lawyers of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Eagle, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca represent those disabled in Aurora, Rockford, Quincy, and Champaign, along with Adams, Sangamon, Cook, Kane, and Winnebago Counties. We evaluate our clients’ disabilities to figure out whether there are other forms of relief available in addition to SSDI, such as fighting for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Contact us at 312-263-6330 or 800-444-1525 or via our online form.