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How Long Can You Leave The Country On Disability?

Last updated: October 10, 2023

Navigating the intricacies of disability benefits can be a daunting task, especially when it comes to traveling or living abroad. Understanding your rights and limitations under disability insurance is crucial. So, how long can you leave the country on disability

Understanding Disability Benefits

Understanding disability benefits is crucial to make the most out of your coverage. There are two main types of disability insurance: Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and private disability insurance. SSDI, a government-funded program, is designed to provide income to people who are prevented from working due to a disability. 

On the other hand, private disability insurance is typically provided by employers or purchased individually and tends to have more customizable benefits and terms. While both types aim to safeguard your income should you become disabled, the specifics of coverage can vary greatly, making it essential to understand the particulars of your policy fully.

Rules for Leaving the Country on Disability

Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) Rules

SSDI allows beneficiaries to travel outside the U.S. without losing their benefits, although there are some country-specific restrictions.

Private Disability Insurance Rules

Private insurance rules can vary significantly based on the provider. Some may allow international travel, while others may limit or suspend benefits if you're not in the country.

Traveling with Disability Insurance

Whether you're planning a short vacation or a long-term stay, it's important to understand your policy and ensure you're covered while away.

Impact on Disability Benefits

Possible Risks

Traveling while on disability insurance can present risks such as potential interruption in benefits, especially if you do not inform the necessary parties of your travel plans.

Benefit Suspension

In some cases, if you leave the country for an extended period, you may risk having your benefits suspended.

Tips for Traveling While on Disability

Informing the Necessary Parties

Before leaving, inform your insurance provider and any relevant government bodies about your plans to ensure that your benefits continue uninterrupted.

Knowing Your Policy

Knowledge is power. Make sure you fully understand the specifics of your policy, including any limitations on travel or living abroad.

Legal Considerations

Legal rules and regulations vary depending on the type of disability insurance. Ensure to seek legal advice before making a major decision like traveling or living abroad.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I travel abroad while on SSDI? 

Yes, you can travel abroad while on SSDI, but it's important to follow the specific guidelines provided by the Social Security Administration.

2. How can I maintain my benefits while living abroad? 

Maintain your benefits by informing your insurance provider, understanding your policy restrictions, and adhering to requirements such as periodic check-ins.

3. What countries have restrictions for SSDI recipients? 

There are restrictions for SSDI recipients in North Korea, Cuba, and certain former Soviet Union countries, as payments cannot be sent there.

4. What should I do before leaving the country on disability?

Inform your insurance provider, understand your policy, comply with SSDI reporting requirements, and consider seeking legal advice before departure.

5. Can my private insurance benefits be suspended if I leave the country? 

Yes, private insurance policies may suspend benefits if you leave the country, depending on the specifics of your insurance contract.


The length of time you can leave the country while on disability depends on the type of insurance and specific policy rules. Always consult with your provider and legal advisor before making plans.

Find out if you should contact an employment disability lawyer to know more about your odds when leaving the country. Read more about this from our blogs at Disability Help.

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Victor Traylor
An expert to the field of Social Justice, Victor formed Disability Help to connect ideas and expertise from the US with rising global cultural leadership, building networks, fostering collaboration, long-term results, mutual benefit, and more extensive international perception.
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