Table 5: Exceptions to the Alien Nonpayment Provision for Workers and Dependents/Survivors.

An alien’s benefits are suspended if he/she is outside the United States for more than six consecutive months, unless one of the following exceptions is met:
(i) the individual is a citizen of a country that has a social insurance or pension system under which benefits are paid to eligible US citizens who reside outside that country (e.g., Brazil, Finland, Mexico, Philippines and Turkey; see Appendix A.1 for a complete list of countries);
(ii) the individual is entitled to benefits on the earnings record of a worker who lived in the United States for at least 10 years or earned at least 40 quarters of coverage under the US Social Security system (exception does not apply if the individual is a citizen of a country that does not provide social insurance or pension system payments to eligible US citizens who reside outside that country);
(iii) the individual is entitled to benefits on the earnings record of a worker who had railroad employment covered by Social Security;
(iv) the individual is outside the United States while in the active military or naval service of the United States;
(v) the individual is entitled to benefits on the earnings record of a worker who died while in the US military service or as a result of a service-connected disease or injury;
(vi) the nonpayment of benefits would be contrary to a treaty obligation of the United States in effect as of August 1, 1956 (i.e., the individual is a citizen of a treaty obligation country; see Appendix A.1 for a list of countries);
(vii) the individual is a citizen or resident of a country with which the United States has a totalization agreement (see Appendix A.1 for a list of countries);
(viii) the individual was eligible for Social Security benefits as of December 1956.

Note: Agreements with Austria, Belgium, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland permit the individual to receive benefits as a dependent or survivor while a resident in those countries only if the worker is a US citizen or a citizen of the country of residence.