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  Can noncitizens receive Social Security benefits?
  Can noncitizens receive Social Security benefits?

 In certain cases, yes.

To qualify for benefits, all noncitizens first must meet the same eligibility requirements as U.S. citizens. Additionally, a noncitizen or alien worker assigned a Social Security number (SSN) on or after January 1, 2004, must meet additional eligibility requirements. If you are subject to this provision, neither you nor your dependents can qualify for benefits based on your earnings unless you meet one of the following:

  • You were assigned an SSN based on your authorization to work in the United States at any time on or after January 1, 2004, or
  • You were admitted to the U.S. at any time as a nonimmigrant visitor for business (B-1) or as an alien crewman (D-1 or D-2).
Once an alien worker has met eligibility criteria, we must have evidence of the “lawful presence” of the beneficiary. That means that before we can pay out benefits for any given month, Social Security must have evidence that during that month the beneficiary was either:
  • A U.S. citizen;
  • A U.S. national; or
  • An alien lawfully present in the United States.

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