No.  Despite the widely spread rumors they can, illegal aliens may not receive Social Security benefits.  First, the Social Security Act prohibits anyone who has not paid taxes into the system from getting benefits.  You cannot get Social Security benefits if you and your employer have not reported your earnings and paid payroll taxes.  It is very common for illegal aliens to work “under the table,” without paying taxes.  Just like a U.S. citizen that never pays payroll taxes on their earnings, they will never get Social Security benefits.

If an illegal alien gives a false Social Security number to get a job, that still will not allow them to legally get Social Security benefits.  Most of the social security numbers used by illegal immigrants are from individuals that are dead or otherwise ineligible to receive benefits.  To try to claim benefits for disability or upon retirement using one of these false numbers would expose the illegal as a fraud.

Web sources believe that this rumor was likely fueled in 2006 when an amendment to a bill pending in Congress was proposed that would have allowed illegal aliens to receive Social Security benefits.  However that amendment failed to pass, and it is still the law that illegal aliens cannot get Social Security benefits.

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