I am from Pakistan. I lived in US from 1981 to 1991 both for education and work. I was on H1 visa for couple of yrs and then attained permanent resident status in 1988. My total work period may be around 5 yrs. I had FICA (Social Security ) deduction for that period. In 1991, I returned to Pakistan on permanent basis and never returned to US even on a short visit.
I am over 61 and according to Social Security Website, one must have at least 10 yrs of work and 62+ age to be qualified for SS retirement benefits. Even when I contact SSA office, then lower staff simply repeat this statement without trying to understand my situation. I am no longer permanent resident (resident alien) or US citizen and I am not intending to do this in future. FICA has deducted sizable amount from my pay check.
I am not interested in long term retirement benefits. All I want is my money that FICA has withheld from my salary to be returned to me. There must be some way to get a refund but unfortunately, the lower staff of SSA does not seem to bother as they mostly deal with routine cases and it is beyond their comprehension that a person living legally in US as permanent resident will ever leave US for good.
I would like some expert opinion on this matter. The routine procedure of SSA may not have any such provision but I want to make this a test case and fight it at all possible forums. I understand that money withheld in US from individuals can not just be appropriated by SSA or another organization without assigning any legal and moral reason.