The Germany-US Social Security Agreement: What You Need to Know

If you’re a US citizen who’s worked in Germany, you may be entitled to receive certain social security benefits from both countries. This is thanks to the Germany-US Social Security Agreement, which was signed in 1979 and has been in effect since 1980.

The agreement covers a range of social security benefits, including retirement, disability, and survivor benefits. It also covers Medicare and Medicaid benefits for people who have paid into these systems in both countries.

Here’s a closer look at what the agreement means for you:

Retirement Benefits

If you’ve worked in both Germany and the US and have paid into both countries’ social security systems, you may be entitled to receive retirement benefits from both. The amount of benefits you’ll receive will depend on how much you’ve paid into each system.

If you’re eligible for benefits from both countries, there are a few things you need to know. First, the benefits from each country will be paid separately. Second, there may be some restrictions on when you can receive benefits from each country.

For example, if you’re eligible for German benefits but not US benefits until a later age, you may be able to receive German benefits earlier and then switch to US benefits later. It’s important to work with a social security specialist who can help you navigate the process.

Disability Benefits

If you become disabled and are unable to work, you may be entitled to receive disability benefits from both Germany and the US. Again, the amount of benefits you’ll receive will depend on how much you’ve paid into each system.

Survivor Benefits

If you or your spouse dies, your children may be entitled to receive survivor benefits from both countries. The amount of benefits will depend on a number of factors, including how much you’ve paid into each system and how many children you have.

Medicare and Medicaid Benefits

If you’ve paid into Medicare and Medicaid in both Germany and the US, you may be eligible to receive benefits from both programs. However, there are some restrictions on how these benefits can be used.

For example, you may not be able to use Medicare benefits in Germany unless you’re a US citizen or resident. You’ll also need to work with your healthcare provider to make sure your benefits are properly coordinated.

Overall, the Germany-US Social Security Agreement can be a valuable resource for people who have worked in both countries. However, the benefits can be complex, so it’s important to work with a specialist who can help you understand your options and maximize your benefits.