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When are retirement benefits NOT payable (or only partly payable)?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at ssa.gov.

303. When are retirement benefits NOT payable (or only partly payable)?

Retirement benefits may not be payable or may be payable only in part if you meet any of the conditions below:

  1. You are under retirement age and earn more than the exempt amount (see §1803);

  2. You are under full retirement age and work outside the U.S. for more than 45 hours in a month (see §1823);

  3. You are in the U.S. and are neither a citizen nor an alien lawfully present;

  4. You have been deported or removed from the U.S. (see §1841);

  5. You are an alien who is outside the U.S. for more than six consecutive calendar months and do not meet an exception to the alien nonpayment provisions as defined in Section 202(t) of the Social Security Act. For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html;

  6. You are living in a U.S. Treasury restricted country where it is not permitted to mail U.S. Government payments (see §1848). For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html;

  7. You are living in an SSA restricted country and do not meet an exception (see §1848). For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html;

  8. You have waived the right to benefits because you are a member of a recognized religious group that is opposed to insurance. In this situation, you must have been granted exemption from paying the self-employment tax (see §§1128-1129); or

  9. You are confined within the U.S. in a jail, prison, or other penal institution or correctional facility because you have been convicted of a felony.

(The conditions regarding nonpayment of benefits are explained in Chapter 18.)

Last Revised: Sep. 10, 2007

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