Social Security Benefit for Resident Alien

My wife is German, but is a resident alien of the US. Will she be entitled to a Social Security benefit even though she has not worked in the US?

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.

Agencies can request to have John Grobe, or another of Federal Career Experts' qualified instructors, deliver a retirement or transition seminar to their employees. FCE instructors are not financial advisers and will not sell or recommend financial products to class participants. Agency Benefits Officers can contact John Grobe at to discuss schedules and costs.

About the Author

John Grobe is President of Federal Career Experts, a firm that provides pre-retirement training and seminars to a wide variety of federal agencies. FCE’s instructors are all retired federal retirement specialists who educate class participants on the ins and outs of federal retirement and benefits; there is never an attempt to influence participants to invest a certain way, or to purchase any financial products. John and FCE specialize in retirement for special category employees, such as law enforcement officers.