Where you currently reside can have a significant impact on the smooth and efficient receipt of your Social Security disability payments. Residents of the United States face different requirements when it comes to travel abroad than those faced by non-U.S. citizens or individuals who are not citizens of a country set forth on a list prepared by the Social Security Administration.


For example, U.S. citizens are eligible to continue receiving benefits for as long as they qualify, regardless of where they are. However, there are some countries where the Social Security Administration cannot send payments. Also, some non-U.S. citizens may lose their ability to receive disability payments if they are outside of the U.S. for six months or longer.


What does it mean to be “outside of the United States” for purposes of Social Security disability benefits?

The Social Security Administration deems a disability benefits recipient to be outside of the United States under the following circumstances:

  • The recipient is not in one of the 50 states.
  • The recipient is not in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa.
  • The recipient is not in any of the above locations and has not been there for at least 30 days in a row.


Individuals will continue to be deemed outside of the country for Social Security disability purposes until they return to the United States and stay there for at least 30 consecutive days. Recipients who are not citizens of the U.S. must also prove that they were present in the country lawfully during that 30-day period.


To learn more about the process of obtaining Social Security disability benefits in Texas, we encourage you to view our free guide, Social Security Disability What You Need to Know. Visit our client testimonials page to see how we have helped countless other clients obtain the benefits they deserve.


Carl M. Weisbrod
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Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law
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