SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1845. Exceptions to Alien Nonpayment Provision

1845.1 What are the exceptions to the alien nonpayment provision?

There are exceptions to the alien nonpayment provision that permit the payment of benefits, even if you are absent from the U.S. The alien nonpayment provision does not apply if:

  1. The worker on whose earnings record benefits are being paid:

    1. Had at least 40 quarters of coverage (see §1846 for limitations);

    2. Resided in the U.S. for a period or periods totaling 10 years or more (see §1846 for limitations);

    3. Had earnings from railroad employment that were counted for Social Security because no railroad benefits were payable on the basis of these earnings (see §1846 for limitations);

    4. Died while in military service of the U.S.; or

    5. Died as the result of a disease or injury certified by the Department of Veterans Affairs to have been incurred or aggravated in line of duty during a period of military service, and the service member was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable; or

  2. The alien beneficiary (whether the insured worker or a person entitled to benefits on the worker's record):

    1. Was entitled (or upon filing an application would have been entitled) to a monthly benefit of any kind on the same Social Security earnings record for December 1956;

    2. Is outside the U.S. because he or she is in the active military or naval service of the U.S. (see §1846 for limitations);

    3. Resides in a country with which the U.S. has an international social security agreement and the withholding of benefits would be against the terms of that agreement (see §107);

    4. Is a citizen of a country that has a treaty with the U.S. requiring payment[s] of U.S. Social Security benefits to citizens of the other country (i.e. Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, and the Netherlands (survivor benefits only)); or

    5. Is a citizen of a foreign country that has a social insurance system that is of general application in that country and under which (see §1846 for limitations):

      1. Periodic benefits are payable because of old age, retirement, or death; and

      2. Benefits are payable at the full rate to eligible citizens of the U.S. who are not citizens of that foreign country, even while outside the foreign country, and these benefits are payable regardless of how long they remain outside that country.

1845.2 What countries have social insurance or pension systems of general application?

The following countries, not already listed in §1845.1.B.4., currently have social insurance or pension systems that meet the conditions described in §1845.1.B.5.:

Albania

Latvia

Antigua and Barbuda

Liechtenstein

Argentina

Lithuania

Austria

Luxembourg

Bahamas

Macedonia

Barbados

Malta

Belgium

Marshall Islands

Belize

Mexico

Bolivia

Micronesia, Fed. States of

Bosnia-Herzegovina

Monaco

Brazil

Montenegro

Bulgaria

Nicaragua

Burkina Faso

Norway

Canada

Palau

Chile

Panama

Colombia

Peru

Costa Rica

Philippines

Cote D'Ivoire

Poland

Croatia

Portugal

Cyprus

St. Kitts and Nevis

Czech Republic

St. Lucia

Denmark

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Dominica

Samoa

Dominican Republic

San Marino

Ecuador

Serbia

El Salvador

Slovakia

Finland

Slovenia

France

South Korea

Gabon

Spain

Grenada

Sweden

Guatemala

Switzerland

Guyana

Trinidad - Tobago

Hungary

Turkey

Iceland

United Kingdom

Jamaica

Uruguay

Jordan

Venezuela

Last Revised: Aug. 15, 2011