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Aliens Outside the U.S. for Six Months or More

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

1843. Aliens Outside the U.S. for Six Months or More

1843.1 If an alien lives outside the U.S. for more than six months, how are benefits affected?

If you are an alien and you live outside the U.S. (as defined in §1824) for six full calendar months in a row, you may not receive monthly benefits effective with the seventh month, unless you meet one of the exceptions listed in §1845. This rule applies if you are a retirement and disability insurance beneficiary. It also applies to those entitled to benefits on your earnings record. For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html.

1843.2 Are benefits of others entitled to benefits on your record affected if you live outside the U.S. for more than six months?

Each beneficiary is treated individually. The suspension of one beneficiary's payments does not cause suspension of payments to any other beneficiary.

1843.3 How is the lump-sum death payment affected?

No lump-sum death payment is paid on the record of a worker who dies outside the U.S. if a monthly benefit was not (or would not have been) payable for the month before the month of death because of the worker's absence from the U.S.

1843.4 Is an alien entitled to special age 72 benefits?

To be entitled to special age 72 payments, an alien must have:

  1. Been legally admitted for permanent residence in the U.S.; and

  2. Resided in the U.S. continuously for five years.

Last Revised: Jul. 12, 2005


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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration