Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Benefit Eligibility for Noncitizens
There are certain situations in which noncitizens may be eligible for SSI benefits. As a noncitizen, you must meet one of the following requirements:
– Have been lawfully residing in the United States as a permanent resident on August 22, 1996, and be blind or disabled;
– Have been receiving SSI on August 22, 1996, and are lawfully residing in the United States;
– Have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and have a total of 40 credits of work in the United States. (Work credits of your spouse or parent may count towards your total as well)
It is also important to note that even if you have at least 40 total work credits (equal to 10 full years of work), you may not be immediately eligible to receive benefits if you entered the U.S. on or after August 22, 1996. In that case, you may not be eligible to receive SSI benefits until you have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the U.S. for a total of five years.
There are some other situations where noncitizens may be eligible for SSI payments as well. This includes active duty members of the U.S. armed forces, members of federally recognized Indian tribes, and certain noncitizens who have been admitted to the U.S. as refugees or victims of severe human trafficking.
If you think you may be entitled to Social Security Disability benefits and have questions, call The Law offices of John T. Nicholson at 1-800-596-1533 for a free consultation today.
Source: SSA Publication No. 05-11051, ICN 480360, December 2012