Did you ever wonder what happened to your Social Security benefits if you were to leave the country? If you are receiving benefits and you’re not outside of the country for over 30 days, the answer is nothing. But if you are making a more permanent move, you will need to alert Social Security so that they know where to send your payment. Thankfully, if you are a United States citizen you will remain entitled to your full benefits as long as you remain disabled regardless of where you live. However, if you are living in Cuba or North Korea your benefits will be withheld from you. Once you leave these countries, all of your withheld money will be sent to you. There are also some countries that Social Security will generally not send payments to, but that you can request an exemption. To qualify for an exception you will need to agree to certain requirements, one of which is agreeing to go to the Embassy each month to pick up your disability check.
If you are not a Citizen of the United States, you may still be eligible to receive your benefits if you leave the country. The decision of whether you can continue to receive benefits or not will be based on which country you are a citizen of and which country you are living in. If your benefits stop because you left the country for over 30 days and you were not eligible to receive ongoing benefits in the country you were in, your benefits can start again once you are back in the United States for 30 days. So if you are receiving, or you have filed for disability, and you are planning a move outside of the U.S. please make sure you check with Social Security so that there is no hold-up of your money.