Do Legal Immigrants Qualify for Social Security Disability?

April 24, 2020
Dayes Law Firm

If you are a legal immigrant, you may be eligible to apply for disability payments through the Social Security Administration (SSA). You must be a U.S. citizen or qualifying legal resident to be able to obtain Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

Our Social Security Disability lawyers in Phoenix discuss how to satisfy the requirements for each disability program so that your financial needs are met. Learn more by scheduling a free consultation.

SSDI Eligibility for Legal Immigrants

Immigrants who live in the U.S. legally may be able to receive SSDI benefits under specific criteria. They must have the proper work documentation as well as meet other medical and technical requirements.

As a non-citizen, this means having one of the following:

  • A Social Security number that was issued during or after 2004 that allows you to work legally in the states; or
  • Hold an appropriate visa (B-1, D-1, or D-2) and provide proof that you were in the U.S. for the months you are requesting disability benefits

It is important to note that in certain situations, even with proper documentation, some individuals may not be eligible for disability payments because they are exempt from paying Social Security taxes due to their status. Only those paying into Social Security will have enough work credits to quality for benefits.

SSI Eligibility for Legal Immigrants

To receive SSI benefits, qualifying as an immigrant can be more difficult. You must also meet the SSI income and asset qualifications and only certain groups of non-citizens may be able to obtain disability through the SSA. These groups include the following:

  • Permanent residents of the U.S.
  • Green Card holders
  • Immigrants who entered the states prior to April 1990
  • Refugees and individuals who were granted asylum
  • Some human trafficking survivors

Medically Qualifying for Social Security Disability

Being able to obtain disability benefits means having a qualifying medical condition. You must have an impairment that is listed in the SSA’s Blue Book or be able to show that you have a disability through a residual functional capacity or RFC form. In either case, you must have a severe medical condition that prevents you from working for at least one year or result in death.

Need Help Obtaining Disability Benefits?

Our disability lawyers at Dayes Law Firm are here to help obtain the disability benefits you need. If you have a valid claim, we are prepared to help you understand the criteria, prepare your claim and file for disability benefits on your behalf. Should the SSA deny your claim, we are also ready to file an appeal.

Request a free, no-obligation consultation to get started. There is no risk in calling us. We do not charge any upfront fees and only receive payment for our legal services if we help you obtain benefits.

Contact our office today by calling 1-800-503-2000.