SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1849. When can you receive benefits you earned while you lived in a restricted country?

If you are a citizen or national of the United States and are a resident in a U.S. Treasury restricted country (Cuba or North Korea), you can receive all of your payments that were withheld once you leave that country and go to another country where the U.S. Treasury can send payments. Generally, if you are not a citizen or national of the United States, you cannot receive any payments for months in which you are a resident of a U.S. Treasury restricted country, even though you leave that country and satisfy all other requirements.

If you are a resident in an SSA restricted country (see §1848) and do not qualify for an exception (see §1847.2), once you leave that country and go to another country where we can send payments, you can receive all the benefits for which you were eligible but were withheld because of Social Security restrictions.

Last Revised: Aug. 31, 2009