Can Non-Citizens Qualify for Social Security Benefits?

Although most Americans who receive SSD benefits are U.S. citizens, non-citizens are allowed to receive some benefits under SSDI and SSI.

To be approved by SSDI benefits, non-citizens must follow these requirements:

  • They must have a Social Security Number that authorizes them to work in America.
  • They must have a B-1 visa, D-1 visa, or a D-2 visa.
  • They must be able to prove they are legally in the U.S. while receiving SSDI payments.
  • They must meet the medical and technical requirements set in place by the Social Security Administration.

Several non-citizens are exempt from paying Social Security taxes, and if this is the case, they will not be eligible for Social Security Disability benefits. 

Qualifying for Supplemental Security Income is even more complicated. A non-citizen must me the previously listed requirements, as well as: 

  • be a "qualified alien" according to Disability Benefits Help, and
  • "meet the predefined 'conditions' or circumstances for eligibility."


To read more information about the "predefined conditions of eligibility," click here.