This is very complicated! Do not take these lists to mean that you do or do not qualify! If you are disabled and are not a citizen, don’t count on any of this; and make sure you sit down with a lawyer before you give up. However, this gives you a general idea:
Social Security Disability.
As an alien you may be eligible if
- You have been admitted to the United States as a legal permanent resident – there are a lot of ways to get into this category; and
- You have earned at least 40 work credits in the United States. If you have substantial, reported wages for 8 years you will have 40 quarters; and
- You have lived in the United States for 5 years or more; and
- You are otherwise eligible for disability benefits
SSI, also known as Supplemental Security Disability.
If you are otherwise eligible for SSI an you have to be in an immigration category granted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as being eligible. These are some possible examples:
- You were lawfully residing in the United States on Aug. 22, 1996, or
- You were receiving SSI on Aug. 22, 1996, and you are lawfully residing in the United States; or
- You were lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) before August 22, 1996 and have a total of 40 credits of work in the United States. (Your spouse’s or parent’s work also may count.); or
- You have been lawfully admitted for permanent residence under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) after August 22, 1996, you have been lawfully admitted for more than 5 years, and you have a total of 40 credits of work in the United States. (Again, your spouse’s or parent’s work also may count.); or
- Your are an active duty members of the U.S. armed forces; or
- You are a noncitizen-member of a federally recognized Indian tribe; or
- You are a certain subgroup of noncitizens admitted as Amerasian immigrants; or
- You are a Cuban/Haitian entrant admitted under the Refugee Education Assistance Act; or
- You are a victim of certain severe forms of human trafficking; or
- You are one of certain Iraqi or Afghan special immigrants who are admitted as lawful permanent residents; and
- This is not all!