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Do you have to be a citizen of the United States to be eligible for Social Security Disability Benefits?  The simple answer is “No”.  SSDI benefits for non-citizens are available in situations where the worker meets the requirements.  So, how do you qualify?

Qualify For SSDI Benefits For Non-Citizens:

Federal law generally requires that all workers pay Social Security taxes. When workers pay these taxes, the are covered under Social Security for services performed in the United States. This is true even if they are nonresident aliens or employees who work here for short periods.

There are a few exceptions, however. Some people may be exempt from paying Social Security taxes and therefore would not qualify for disability benefits under SSDI.  Additionally, there are certain countries whose citizens cannot receive benefits even if they otherwise qualify.  If you have questions about either of these situations, don’t hesitate to contact an attorney.

How Can Resident Aliens Prove They Are Lawfully in the U.S.:

If you are a resident alien, you will have to show that you are lawfully in the United States under one of the following conditions:

  • admission as a refugee or conditional entrance as a refugee
  • asylum status or pending application for political asylum
  • temporarily visiting on a nonimmigrant visa
  • parole status
  • deportation withheld or pending application for withholding of deportation
  • member of a class of aliens permitted to remain in the United States for humanitarian or other public policy reasons, or
  • you have been battered or subjected to cruelty by a family member while in the United States.


If you are a foreign national and have legally been working in the United States and now are unable to work, you may be eligible for SSDI for non-citizens.  Please have your claim reviewed to start you application process.  You have paid into this system and it exists to help you meet your monthly maintenance.