Social Security Benefit for Resident Alien

By on May 7, 2014 in Q&A with 0 Comments

Q: My wife is German, but is a resident alien of the US. We are currrently assigned in Germany. Will my wife be entitled to a Social Security benefit even though she has not worked in the US? Does it matter where I retire (German or USA)?

A: I double checked the Social Security Handbook to be sure of this answer.  As your wife, she will be entitled to a spousal benefit based on your earnings record, regardless of whether or not she is an American citizen.  Social Security benefits are payable overseas.

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About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a consulting firm that specializes in federal retirement and career transition issues. He is also affiliated with TSP Safety Net. John retired from federal service after 25 years of progressively more responsible human resources positions. He is the author of Understanding the Federal Retirement Systems and Career Transition: A Guide for Federal Employees, both published by the Federal Management Institute. Federal Career Experts provides pre-retirement seminars for a wide variety of federal agencies.