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Tucson Social Security Disability Blog

Can Illegal Aliens Get Social Security Benefits?

Posted by John Kuhnlein | Aug 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

I cannot count how many times angry clients and other people have told me that the reason Social Security is having so many problems is because of the illegal aliens in this country.  There are endless versions of this claim, but they all distill to this: hardworking Americans are getting shafted so that Uncle Sam can lavish benefits on people who are here illegally.  

No Really Does Mean No

So, can illegal aliens get Social Security benefits? The definitive answer is No.

The Requirements To Collect Benefits

Social Security has requirements for anyone to get benefits. These include:

*  Earning 40 quarters, which amounts to 10 years of working while paying into Social Security

*  Being lawfully present in the United States.

Is This The Wall You Were Talking About?

Congress has spelled out in exacting detail who is qualified for such federal benefits as Social Security.  The largest single group of non-citizens who can get Social Security benefits are lawful permanent residents, better known as the holders of green cards. All the other categories (refugees, Cuban immigrants, victims of human trafficking) comprise such a tiny number as to have zero affect on Social Security. Keep in mind, too, that simply being a refugee or a Cuban immigrant does not get you benefits. These people would still have to qualify by working 10 years, being disabled or over age 65. For Supplemental Security Income, they would have also to show they have no assets nor any income. 

Illegal Workers Subsidize American's Retirement

All This Hard Work Is For You

Rather than detract from what Americans get in Social Security benefits, some illegal workers actually add to those benefits. The illegal workers do so when their employers take Social Security taxes from their wages (many illegal workers use someone else's Social Security number.) Those taxes are sent to Social Security. But, the illegal workers who earned those wages can never get them back in the form of Social Security benefits.  As of 2010, per a study by Social Security, the payroll taxes on illegal workers added $12,000,000,000.00 (that's 12 billion dollars) to the system. That money got paid out to Americans in monthly benefit checks.

Blame Politician, Not Illegal Workers

But It's Gotta Be True!

It is human nature to suspect that other people are getting what you are entitled to.  But, it is important to resist the impulse to blame illegal workers for problems with Social Security.  Illegal workers are paying billions of dollars in taxes and not getting benefits in return. They are, in essence, subsidizing the retirement of Americans.

If you want to properly place the blame for the unconscionable delays in Social Security, look to Washington, D.C. Those are the people you really should be mad at. 

About the Author

John Kuhnlein

Since 1992, I have been helping the people of Southern Arizona get the benefits they are due. Before devoting all my efforts to assisting people with Social Security disability claims, I also handled such complex lawsuits as medical malpractice and products liability. I brought to my Social Security cases all the skills and attention to detail that I developed in the courtroom. I approach each Social Security disability case as if it were a million-dollar lawsuit. For the people trying to get Social Security benefits, their claim is every bit as important. Because I have personally handled so many Social Security cases, I have refined the skills I need to win your case for you. I have helped people win cases for every kind of ailment from arthritis to valley fever. At present, I am focused on helping those persons with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Because claims for people over age fifty bring additional complications, I particularly seek out those cases to work on. I regularly write about back and spine conditions on my blog. I actively seek out the latest information about orthopedic and neurological disorders to ensure I can represent my clients as effectively as possible. Because of my current focus, I regret that I am not able to take any cases for mental disorders. If you are over age fifty and suffer from any orthopedic or neurological disorder, please contact me at once.


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John Kuhnlein has been assisting people with Social Security disability claims for the past 25+ years.

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Feel free to call with any questions or concerns you have about Social Security disability. I never charge for a consultation. In fact, there is no charge at all until we win your case. Unlike most lawyers, I never charge extra for things like telephone calls or making copies.