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Can someone who moved to the U.S. from another country apply for social security benefits and income

Philadelphia, PA |

Can someone who moved from another country to US and is now 65 years old be entitled to collect SSI, who has never worked in her life and that person is living in a different state with their immediate family and using a different address to collect her money is that medicare fraud ?

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Attorney answers 1


It is difficult to answer your question without having more information. Under the Social Security Administration, there are several different program which if the claimant qualifies will pay a monthly stipend. For instance, there is the traditional retirement insurance program, Social Security Disability Insurance, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

A resident alien may be eligible for SSI, if they meet the program criteria:

Who can get Supplemental Security Income?
Generally, if you are a noncitizen in one of certain immigration categories granted by the Department of Homeland Security, you may be eligible for SSI if:

You were lawfully living in the United
States on August 22, 1996, and you are blind or disabled;
You were receiving SSI on August 22, 1996, and you are lawfully living in the United States; or
You were lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) and have a total of 40 credits of work in the United States. (Your spouse’s or parent’s work also may count.)
Important: If you entered the United States on or after August 22, 1996, then you may not be eligible for SSI for the first five years as a lawfully admitted permanent resident even if you have 40 qualifying credits of earnings.

Some other noncitizens who may be eligible for SSI payments are:

Active duty members of the U.S. armed forces;
Noncitizen members of federally recognized Indian tribes;
Certain noncitizens admitted as Amerasian immigrants; and
Cuban/Haitian entrants under the Refugee Education Assistance Act.
There are other noncitizens who may be eligible for payments. If you are a noncitizen and want to apply for SSI benefits, it is best to contact us to see if you are eligible.

Here is the link to the Social Security publication on this topic.

Stanley Dale Radtke, Esq.
220 Montgomery Street, Suite 416
San Francisco, CA 94104

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