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Qualifying for Social Security as a Legal Immigrant

 work concept

If you’re a legal immigrant but meet the SSA’s work credit requirements in the US, or have an equivalent of the Social Security credits in your previous country, you can qualify for the Social Security benefits in the US. Here’s how.

Obtain a Social Security Number

You can get a Social Security number in the following ways:

  • Apply for an SSN (Social Security Number) during the immigration process
  • Visit a Social Security office to complete the process. You’ll have to fill out the Social Security Form SS-5to acquire the SSN.

You also need to obtain SSN if you want to work in the US. After acquiring an employee’s SSN, the employer reports their earnings to the federal government under their name and SSN.

Get Work Credits

After obtaining an SSN, your next goal should be to acquire at least 40 Social Security work credits. You get one credit for each quarter in which you make at least $1,510 (as of 2022), i.e. you can earn four credits a year. According to this formula, you can get 40 credits for working for 10 years in the US. The formula holds for all the people born since 1929.

Once you earn the required work credits, you become eligible for the Social Security benefits and may start collecting them when you hit your retirement age.

Work Credits from Other Country

If you’re a legal immigrant from one of the countries with which the US has the ‘totalization agreement” and have enough work credits from that country, you may qualify for Social Security in the US, even if you haven’t acquired sufficient Social Security work credits in the US.

Hire a Social Security Lawyer in Little Rock

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At the Law Offices of Lisa Douglas, Inc., I can provide you with help and legal support in filing a successful Social Security application as a legal immigrant.

Some other services you can acquire at the Law Offices of Lisa Douglas, Inc. include legal services related to personal injury, social security, family law, medical malpractice, and more. Get in touch with me for more information.

Disclaimer: This blog is only intended for educational purposes and shouldn’t be used as a substitute for legal advice.


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