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Even some non-citizens (refugees) can get it. I know people in that situation.

Then those people are mistaken. They get nothing from Social Security. They get nothing from any ancillary Social Security programs.

Neither immigrants nor anyone else is able to collect Social Security benefits without someone paying Social Security payroll taxes into the system. The conditions under which Social Security benefits are payable, and to whom, can be found in the pamphlets available on our website.

The question confuses the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program with Social Security. SSI is a federal welfare program and no contributions, from immigrants or citizens or anyone else, is required for eligibility. Under certain conditions, immigrants can qualify for SSI benefits. The SSI program was an initiative of the Nixon Administration and was signed into law by President Nixon on October 30, 1972.

http://www.ssa.gov/history/InternetMyths2.html
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