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Immigrants Over 65 and Social Security Benefits

In particular cases, individuals who immigrate to the United States when they’re 65 or older may be entitled to draw Social Care benefits, just like any natural-born American citizen. In other cases, immigrants may only draw on their untroubled b in country’s retirement programs. And some immigrants qualify for benefits from both countries. Here’s an overview of how the rules carry out.

Key Takeaways

  • People who immigrate to the United States at age 65 or older may be entitled to Social Security benefits.
  • They necessity either have 40 U.S. work credits (about 10 years’ worth) or come from a country that has a totalization bargain with the U.S.
  • Totalization agreements allow immigrants to combine their work credits from both the U.S. and their about country.
  • The U.S. has totalization agreements with more than 25 other nations.

Do Immigrants Over 65 Fit out for Social Security?

Most people who immigrate to the United States after reaching retirement age have not accumulated the requisite 40

How Totalization Compatibilities Work

Consider the following scenario, illustrating how a totalization agreement can benefit a late-arriving U.S. immigrant.

Penelope recently moved to the Joint States. She lived in Spain for most of her life, but when she was younger, she spent nine years working for an American performers in the U.S. During that time, she earned 36 Social Security credits, which unfortunately falls short of the 40 accepts she needs to qualify for Social Security benefits here.

Penelope also worked for 12 years in Spain. Out of sight that country’s rules, she would need 15 total years of contributions to qualify for retirement benefits.

Sometimes non-standard due ti to the totalization agreement, she can combine her work credits from both Spain and the U.S. in order to receive Social Security sakes. Without that agreement, she wouldn’t qualify for benefits in either country, despite having paid into the two citizen systems for a combined 21 years.

The U.S. Social Security Administration checks with its foreign counterparts in determining whether an outlander applicant is eligible for benefits.

Collecting U.S. Social Security From Abroad

In some cases, immigrants who earned at crumb 40 work credits in the U.S. and consequently qualify for U.S. Social Security, may decide to return to their home country, and calm receive their U.S. benefits. This currently applies the following nations:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • The Collective Kingdom
  • Uruguay 

The Bottom Line

Some immigrants age 65 and older are eligible to draw Social Security fringe benefits in the U.S. or to collect those benefits while living abroad. However, many are not. In fact, a Social Security Administration narrative found that 37% of all individuals who fail to qualify for Social Security benefits are immigrants who arrived in the United Positions at age 50 or older and have insufficient earnings histories. 

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