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3 Myths About Living Abroad And Getting Social Security Disability Benefits

If you are thinking about living abroad and currently receive Social Security disability benefits, you are still entitled to your benefits. Make sure you don't fall for these four myths about living abroad and not getting your Social Security benefits.

Myth #1: You Don't Have To Tell The Social Security Office You're Moving

Many individuals wrongly assume that as long as they keep a bank account here in the United States where their benefits can be automatically deposited, they don't have to let the Social Security office know that they are moving abroad.

The Social Security office has a few stipulations when it comes to receiving benefits. One of the most basic stipulations is that you need to inform them if you move or change your address.

Myth #2: Your Disability Benefits Will Change Based On The Country You Move To

Your benefits are calculated based on a set criteria used by the Social Security offices. Your disability benefits should remain consistent from year to year, with a slight yearly cost of living adjustment for inflation.

Your benefits are not based on the country in which you live. Your benefits will remain the same if you are living in the United States, Brazil or France.

It is important to note though, that the yearly cost of living adjustment is based on inflation rates in the United States, and not in the country you will be residing in.

Myth #3: The Social Security Office Can Mail A Check Anywhere In The World

There are actually a few countries in the world that the Social Security office cannot mail a check to. These countries include:

  • Vietnam
  • Uzbekistan
  • Ukraine
  • Turkmenistan
  • Tajikistan
  • North Korea
  • Moldova
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Georgia
  • Cambodia
  • Cuba
  • Belarus
  • Azerbaijan

However, just because the Social Security office will not send a check to these countries does not mean you will not be able to get your benefits. You may be able to have your benefits directly deposited into your bank account in the United States instead.

Myth #4: Your Medical Reviews Have To Take Place In The United States

Occasionally, the Social Security office will review your medical condition that caused you to qualify for disability payments. When they review your condition, you will ask to see your medical files. They may ask for you to have a special examination as well, which they will pay for.

If you are currently residing outside of the United States when your review process comes up, you will need to go to a qualified medical facility in the country you are residing in for your special examination. You may need to provide the credentials of the facility to the Social Security review team before you go in for an appointment.

It may take a little more effort on your part to arrange any necessary appointments, but you should be able to complete the process without returning to the United States.

Don't fall for the four myths listed above about Social Security disability benefits and living abroad. If you encounter any issues with obtaining your Social Security benefits while living abroad, contact a Social Security disability attorney, like Allison Tyler Attorney, to represent you and help you with the process.