Social Security Benefits Outside the U.S.

Over a half-million people who live outside the United States receive Social Security benefits, including retirees and people with disability, spouses, widows, widowers and children. “Outside the United States” means you’ve been outside one the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands or American Samoa for at least 30 days in a row.

If you plan to travel outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important to notify Social Security about the dates you plan to leave and return, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. Then we can determine if your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected.

Visit for an online tool to find out if you may continue to receive your Social Security benefits the entire time you are outside the U.S. Country-specific restrictions may apply. You may also find more information in our online publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States,” at

While you are outside the U.S., the Social Security Administration will periodically send you a questionnaire. Your answers will help us figure out if you still are eligible for benefits. Return the questionnaire promptly to keep payments flowing. In addition to responding, notify us about changes that could affect your payments. Social Security is with you through life’s journey, even when it takes you outside the country.


For questions, online applications or to make an appointment to visit a SSA office, call from 7am–7pm, Mon–Fri:
1-800-772-1213 (toll free)  |  1-800-325-0778 (TTY)


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