SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home303. When are retirement benefits NOT payable (or only partly payable)?

Retirement benefits may not be payable or may be payable only in part if you meet any of the conditions below:

  1. You are under retirement age and earn more than the exempt amount (see §1803);

  2. You are under full retirement age and work outside the U.S. for more than 45 hours in a month (see §1823);

  3. You are in the U.S. and are neither a citizen nor an alien lawfully present;

  4. You have been deported or removed from the U.S. (see §1841);

  5. You are an alien who is outside the U.S. for more than six full calendar months in a row and you do not meet an exception to the alien nonpayment provisions (see 1843-1846). For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States” at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html and the Payments Abroad Screening Tool at www.ssa.gov/international/payments_outsideUS.html

  6. You are in a U.S. Treasury restricted country where we cannot send U.S. Government payments (see 1847-1849). For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States” at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html

  7. You are in an SSA restricted country and do not meet an exception (see 1847-1849). For information on payments while you are outside the U.S., see “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States” at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10137.html;

  8. You have waived the right to benefits because you are a member of a recognized religious group that is opposed to insurance. In this situation, you must have been granted exemption from paying the self-employment tax (see §§1128-1129); or

  9. You are confined within the U.S. in a jail, prison, or other penal institution or correctional facility because you have been convicted of a felony.

(The conditions regarding nonpayment of benefits are explained in Chapter 18.)

Last Revised: Apr. 12, 2010