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LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 37855
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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Can a native american born in Canada living US under Jay

Customer Question

Can a native american born in Canada living US under Jay treaty receive US social security benefits?
Submitted: 1 year ago via ForeignBorn.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. Are you saying that your sister is not legally in the US at the present time? She neither has US citizenship nor a green Card?

2. When was she first issued her social security number for work purposes in the US?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Reference Jay Treaty 1794, agreement between Canada and US allowing Canadian born native americans to travel freely across US/Canadian border and live and work in the US which includes be eligible for public benefits. We have had social security cards for more than 45 years. We are Canadian born aboriginals with supporting documentation who live in the United States legally under the Jay Treaty.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

The treaty you refer to was between the US and Britain, not Canada, however I am well aware that the US takes the position that Aboriginal people from Canada with “50% American Indian blood” may live and work in the United States without restriction. However, the entitlement to US social security benefits is not specifically effected by the treaty.

Under US social security laws, a person must either be a citizen or a permanent resident of the United States to be eligible to collect benefits. Because only foreign nationals who are permanent residents of the US are eligible to collect social security benefits, and given the fact that you are Canada born aboriginals---while the treaty allows you to live and work in the US, it does not specifically confer permanent residency on you and your sister.

Because your sister was assigned her social security card so many years ago, it was not necessary that she be a permanent, legal resident of the US when she worked and paid into social security. However, she must now apply for a green card before she will be eligible to collect her social security benefits.

I understand that you may be disappointed by the Answer you received, as it was not particularly favorable to your situation. Had I been able to provide an Answer which might have given you a successful legal outcome, it would have been my pleasure to do so.

If you have additional questions, you may of course reply back to me and I will be happy to continue to assist you further until your questions have been answered to your satisfaction.

Would you please take a moment to positively rate my service to you based on the understanding of the law I provided by clicking on the rating stars---three stars or more. It is that easy. That is the way I am compensated for having helped you.

Thank you in advance. I wish you the best in your future,