In general, beginning August 22, 1996, most non-citizens must meet two requirements to potentially be eligible for SSI:
- Be in a qualified alien category, and
- Meet a condition that allows qualified aliens to get SSI.
There are eight categories of qualified aliens. The categories are:
- Lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States (LAPR), including certain Amerasian immigrants;
- Conditional entrants under the law in effect before April 1,1980;
- Paroled into the United States for certain reasons for a period of one year or more;
- Granted asylum;
- Deportation or removal is being withheld for certain reasons; or
- Cuban and Haitian entrant as defined in the Refugee Education and Assistance Act of 1980; or
- Certain aliens subjected to battery or extreme cruelty or whose child or parent has been subjected to battery or extreme cruelty.
In addition to the categories described above, certain other aliens may be eligible for SSI.
So, yes. Lawful immigrants to the United States are eligible to receive Social Security disability benefits.
Click for more information about Social Security Supplemental Security Income (SSI) eligibility for non-citizens.
Your local Social Security office can also tell you whether you are eligible and you can call Social Security’s toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, to request the “Supplemental Security Income for Noncitizens,” fact sheet, publication number 05-11051.