Can Disabled Child Receive SSDI if Parents are Not U.S. Citizens?

 In Social Security, Special Needs Planning



My son is 21 years old and disabled with cerebral palsy since birth. He currently receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and has never worked. We as parents are not US citizens and his father retired from his overseas job in 2014. We wish to be able to travel internationally (may also be more than 30 days at a time) with him and for him to be able to continue receiving benefits. Knowing that SSI stops paying while overseas, we think he needs to apply for Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) to be able to receive benefits abroad. Questions: Is applying for SSDI the only way for him to be able to receive payments abroad? He has never worked and has no “work credits”; can he apply based on his father’s work records?


It sounds like your son should be eligible for Social Security child disability benefits based on your husband’s work record. Your citizenship and location don’t matter. But your husband must be receiving Social Security retirement benefits for this to kick in for your son. You also might be able to receive some benefits for caring for your son but, again, your husband must begin taking his Social Security retirement benefits. Unfortunately, if you and your husband have not paid into the Social Security system sufficiently to receive retirement benefits yourselves, your son will not be able to get SSDI.


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