What are Social Security Benefits?
If you're a new immigrant or plan to bring your green card parents or relatives who are senior citizens (62 and older) to the U.S., the top question in your mind might be: Can I get Social Security Benefits? Social Security Benefits include retirement benefits (for people who have retired), disability benefits (for people who have disabilities), survivors benefits (for survivors of workers who've died), and benefits for dependents.
Social Security for Green Card Holders or Permanent Residents
As you work in the U.S., you pay Social Security taxes, which earns you social security credits. You can earn up to 4 credits in a year. As of 2013, permanent residents or Green Card holders need $1160 in earnings to get 1 credit. Green Card holders need 40 credits (equivalent to 10 years of work) to be eligible for Social Security Benefits.
Understandably, there's often some confusion about the difference between Social Security and Medicare. Social Security benefits give a measure of financial security. Whereas, Medicare, gives health insurance to eligible immigrants and Green Card holders who are at least 65 years old.
To qualify for Social Security you have to work and pay Social Security taxes in the U.S. for a minimum of ten years. Your spouse and children (mainly under 18) are the only dependents entitled to these benefits.
For more information on Social Security benefits you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov
New immigrants, Green Card holders or U.S. permanent residents who don't qualify or aren't eligible for U.S. domestic insurance or Medicare, can buy temporary health insurance for medical coverage.