The Social Security Administration has different rules for getting Social Security benefits depending on what benefit you have applied for and what kind of immigration status you have. There are two main programs people usually apply for: Disability Insured Benefits and Supplemental Security Income. If you are a legal permanent resident (also known as a green card holder or noncitizen) and apply for Disability Insured Benefits (Title 2 or DIB) because you have paid FICA taxes, as long as Social Security finds you disabled there is no problem. However, if you are a legal permanent resident and you file for Supplemental Security Income (Title 16 or SSI) the rules get trickier. If you were lawfully residing in the United States before August 22, 1996 or you were on SSI and lawfully residing in the United States before that date you can receive SSI.