Social Security and Medicare Benefits for Expatriates
JacobsReport
on International Financial Planning
The JacobsReport is a free email newsletter that will discuss investment, business, tax and financial planning in an international context. Reports will be issued as the author's work schedule permits, but will usually be issued on a weekly schedule.

Social Security and Medicare
Benefits for Expatriates


QUESTION: Your book speaks to expatriation.  It says social security
benefits are subject to income tax. This implies social security
benefits are paid after one expatriates. Is this true? The
government tries to assure us that the money is ours as we have paid
into the "trust fund" but something tells me they wouldn't honor that
pledge if one expatriated. What are the facts about social security
benefits after expatriation? I presume Medicare is out of the question
if one expatriates.

REPLY: Social Security benefits are payable to U.S. citizens and
green card holders who are living and working outside the U.S.
Benefits are also payable to citizens and green card holders who
choose to retire in other countries and to nonresident aliens who have
lived and worked in the U.S. long enough to qualify for benefits.
However, I was not able to find any information on the Social Security
web site regarding any restrictions or special treatment for former
citizens or former green card holders. See Social Security –
International Issues ( http://www.ssa.gov/international/ ) and
Payments While Outside the U.S. ( http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10137.html )
and Social Security benefits for non-citizens

As for Medicare, it’s my understanding that benefits are only payable
to certain qualified medical care facilities and professionals. It
seems very unlikely that any foreign facilities or providers would be
eligible. But if a former citizen were to return to the U.S. for
medical treatment at an approved facility or from a qualified
provider, it might be that the benefits are still available. I was not
able to find any information about the subject on the Medicare web
site at Medicare FAQs (
http://questions.medicare.gov/cgi-bin/medicare.cfg/php/enduser/std_alp.php
)

Vern Jacobs

The comments in this memorandum are not intended to constitute an opinion regarding any specific tax issues because additional tax issues may exist that could affect the tax treatment of the tax issues addressed in this memo. This memorandum does not consider or reach a conclusion with respect to those additional issues and was not written and cannot be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties under code
section 6662(d). For further details see http://www.offshorepress.com/vkjcpa/disclosurerules.htm

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Copyright 2007, Vernon K. Jacobs # 468, 6/11/07
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Information in the Jacobs Report is educational in nature and deals with various tax or asset protection laws but not how those laws apply to any specific person or company. Readers should seek advice from a qualified professional for tax, legal or investment advice.
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