How to file for disability, Filing for SSI
Disability Requirements, Disability Status
How long is the wait?, Disability Application
The Social Security List of Impairments
Qualifying for Disability, Mental Disability
Disability Lawyer Info, Disability Back Pay

Am I Eligible to get Benefits (SSDI, Medicare) if I worked overseas and get a disability pension from another country?

This question comes from an individual who is a U.S. citizen, works as a research scientist, and receives a disability pension from Japan which is not sufficient to meet his living needs. His question: Am I eligible to get any benefits (SSDI, Medicare etc.) and how do I apply?



If you never worked in the US or worked very little, you may not be insured for Social Security Disability benefits. If you have not worked enough to be insured, you are not eligible for Social Security Disability. If you happen to have worked enough to be insured for Social Security Disability benefits, your disability amount would be offset with the amount of your disability pension from Japan.

So, there would not likely be much money payable on your record if you worked most of your life in Japan; however you may be able to get Medicare benefits. Keep in mind that Medicare benefits are not paid for two years following the month you become eligible for a monthly SSDI benefit.

It is important to contact Social Security as soon as possible if you think there is a chance you may be insured through work that you did in the United States. The date of filing determines any back payment of disability benefits and it may also shorten the wait for Medicare benefits if you are entitled to retroactive disability benefits.

Retroactive disability benefit months can be paid for up to twelve months prior to the date you file your disability claim provided you have not been performing substantial work activity for at least seventeen months prior to filing your SSDI claim.

If you are not insured for SSDI, Social Security has another disability program, SSI, which offers disability benefits and Medicaid eligibility to those who are able to meet strict income and resource limits.

I am not sure of the amount of your disability pension from Japan, if it is over the current SSI disability payment amount of $698.00, you are not eligible for this program either.

If you meet the income limit of the program you still have to meet the resource limit of the program. Resources might include vehicles, homes, land, bank accounts, retirement plans, stocks, bonds, etc. You are allowed to have $2000.00 dollars in resources if you are single or $3000.00 if you are a couple. Social Security excludes one vehicle and the home you live in from the resource limit.

I would advise you to contact your local Social Security office and make an appointment to discuss your situation with them. You may be able to file a claim for disability or retirement (I do not know your age). If you are insured for both disability and retirement file for both. If it turns out you are not insured for either, you may still qualify for SSI disability benefits if you meet the program’s income and resource limits.

Essential Questions

What is the Social Security Disability SSI list of impairments?

Can you work while getting or applying for Disability?

How Often Does Social Security Approve Disability The First Time You Apply?

Tips for getting Social Security Disability or SSI benefits approved

What medical conditions will get you approved for disability?

What kind of Mental Problems Qualify for Disability?

Receiving a Disability Award Letter

Conditions Social Security will recognize as a disability

Previously answered questions regarding SSD and SSI

Applying for disability in your state

Most popular topics on SSDRC.com

Social Security Disability SSI Questions

The listings, list of disabling impairments

Can a mental illness qualify you for disability?

Disability Lawyers prevent unnecessary denials

How much Social Security Disability SSI back pay?

How to apply for disability for a child or children

Filing a Social Security Disability SSI application

Filing for disability - when to file

How to apply for disability - where to apply

Qualifications for disability benefits

How to Prove you are disabled and Win your Disability Benefits

Qualifying for Disability - The Process

How to get disability for depression

Getting disability for fibromyalgia

SSI disability for children with ADHD

What is the Application Process for Social Security Disability and SSI?

Common Mistakes to avoid after being denied for Disability

Social Security Disability SSI Exam tips

More Social Security Disability SSI Questions

Social Security Disability SSI definitions

What makes you eligible for Social Security Disability or SSI?

New and featured pages on SSDRC.com

Who can help me file for disability?

Related pages:

Can I Get Disability If I Was Paid Under the Table?
What Determines If You Are Covered for SSDI (Social Security Disability) Benefits - The DLI Issue
Insured Status is What Makes SSDI and SSI Different From Each Other
What Is The Difference between SSD and SSI?
The Difference Between Social Security Disability and SSI Really Involves Work Activity
Am I Eligible to get Benefits (SSDI, Medicare) if I worked overseas and get a disability pension from another country?
Can You Get Disability Benefits If You Were Self-Employed and had Self-employment Earnings?

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Can you get temporary Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

Permanent Social Security Disability

What is the difference between Social Security Disability and SSI?

Who is eligible for SSI disability?

Can I Be Eligible For SSI And Social Security Disability At The Same Time?

What makes a person eligible to receive disability benefits?

Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?

What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?

For the sake of clarity, SSDRC.com is not the Social Security Administration, nor is it associated or affiliated with SSA. This site is a personal, private website that is published, edited, and maintained by former caseworker and former disability claims examiner, Tim Moore, who was interviewed by the New York Times on the topic of Social Security Disability and SSI benefits in an article entitled "The Disability Mess" and also by the Los Angeles Times on the subject of political attempts to weaken the Social Security Disability system.

The goal of the site is to provide information about how Social Security Disability and SSI work, the idea being that qualified information may help claimants pursue their claims and appeals, potentially avoiding time-consuming mistakes. If you find the information on this site helpful and believe it would be helpful to others, feel free to share links to its homepage or other pages on website resource pages, blogs, or social media. Copying of this material, however, is prohibited.

To learn more about the author, please visit the SSDRC.com homepage and view the "about this site" link near the bottom of the page.