Lawful Alien Status

Although Social Security Disability benefits are normally reserved for US residents, those who have attained “Lawful Alien Status” may also be eligible for benefits. The term “lawful alien status” refers to an individual who has been admitted to the United States and granted permanent authorisation to work by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

All workers are required by federal law to pay Social Security taxes. As a result, if a lawful immigrant works in the United States and pays the required Social Security taxes, they will be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits for services rendered in the United States. Individuals who have attained the status of lawful alien may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits.

It is critical to understand that in order to claim for Social Security Disability benefits, a lawful alien must be able to demonstrate their lawful alien status.

Individuals who are lawfully present in the United States under one of the following situations are said to have lawful alien status:

  • Individual was admitted as a refugee or was granted conditional entry as a refugee;
  • Individual has been awarded asylum or has a pending political asylum application;
  • Individual is on a non-immigrant visa and is visiting briefly;
  • The individual has been granted parole;
  • Individual has had his or her deportation withheld or has a pending application for deportation withholding;
  • Permission has been granted for an individual to remain in the United States for humanitarian reasons; or
  • While residing in the United States, the individual has been abused or subjected to the maltreatment of a family member.