If I Relocate Overseas Permanently, do I Lose my SSDI Benefits?

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Social Security Disability is available to those that are elderly, disabled or have qualified for the benefits. There are many specific requirements, and it is easy to miss a filing deadline that may cancel or limit monetary assistance.

This means that all regulations, laws and rules for disability should be adhered to and understood. These benefits are generally only available to United States citizens who reside in the country for the majority of the year. If the recipient does not notify the Social Security Administration of all changes to personal details, a cessation of benefits may occur swiftly. These details include address, phone number, job status, marital status and similar items.

For individuals that move outside of the United States, there are several factors that may lead to benefits being cut off. These aspects may include the type of disability benefits received, how much is provided, the location the person has moved to, how long he or she lives in this other country and other concerns that are important to the Social Security Administration. It is important to understand fully how benefits and guidelines work with this program before moving outside the country, and a social security official may need to be consulted so that the beneficiary of these programs knows what to expect.

The Move and How it Affects Benefits

When Disability benefits are received due to work that was performed by the recipient, he or she is usually afforded a six month period or longer to retain them unless he or she moves to a country that prohibits this action. However, there are other factors that may affect the benefits received. It is vital that the person benefiting contact the Social Security Administration to communicate about the move, other factors that have changed and receive a final decision on the benefits. If they are cut off, it may only be due to a clerical error. It is possible that the country was flagged as prohibited when it is not actually true for the administration.

The countries that cause the cut off may be subject to change. However, disability payments are not sent to the recipient even if he or she qualifies when in these countries. When within the United States Protectorates, it is possible to receive monetary assistance through disability even though the person is physically outside the United States. These would include locations such as Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam. Other areas may have the same effect, but it is important to contact an employee in the Social Security Administration to ensure this is the case because changes occur frequently. The address must be updated, and the communication may be accomplished when that is completed.

The Status of the Beneficiary

Both the type of benefits that are received and the location that the person moves to affect whether the payments or insurance are received by the individual. The status of the person is also a factor such as a dependent or through the personís own work record. This also affects which countries may be on the approved list. Other factors may also change such as how the benefits are obtained. If the assistance is for insurance, this may not be an option in the country the person has relocated to because the healthcare works differently. How the individual communicates with the Social Security Administration may also alter when not in the United States as there may not be a representative in the new area.

Where to send forms and how to provide updates may also change based on the country the person lives. The rules that affect the person may be complicated and difficulties may arise that are not fully understood. This is why it is crucial for the recipient to contact the Social Security Administration before the move occurs with all relevant details to include a possible address if available. Finalizing plans may not transpire until after the details have been explained to a representative and the move had been approved with benefits. However, the resources or assistance may only last for so many months in the approved countries.

Legal Assistance for Disability

If the person has already moved, he or she may need to contact a legal representative to either work as a go between or to represent his or her case and ensure the benefits are provided for eligible persons. This may mean reviewing the details and contacting the Social Security Administration again.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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