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Social Security benefits and living overseas

There are more than 500,000 Americans living overseas and receiving different kinds of Social Security benefits. These individuals are either retired or disabled -- or they are children, spouses, widowers or widows of a disabled or retired person. Fortunately, unlike some countries, disability and retirement benefits recipients can continue to receive their benefits after leaving the country in many cases.

That said, some steps must be taken in order to ensure that individuals can continue to receive their retirement and disability checks. For example, the Social Security Administration needs to be informed of how long the individual plans to remain outside of the United States. This is the case no matter how long one believes the travel period will last. Social Security will require both the departure and return dates in this regard.

Before making travel arrangements, however, disability and retirement recipients will want to make sure that they are indeed eligible to continue getting their retirement checks. For example, sometimes, a six-month stop payment or country-specific restrictions could apply, so it is important to determine how one will be affected before spending money on travel plans.

Minnesota residents considering the ex-pat lifestyle outside the United States may want to think about how this could affect their Social Security payments and devise a strategy to ensure that they will not be cut off from their sources of income. Speaking with a Social Security disability attorney is a great way to gain further insight into how specific Social Security benefits laws that apply to ex-pats will come into play given the unique facts and circumstances of an individual's situation.

Source: Logan Daily, "Social Security benefits U.S. citizens outside the country," Darren Lutz, June 08, 2016

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