Social Security Benefits U.S. Citizens Outside the United States

Benefits-outside-the-USOver half a million people who live outside the United States receive some kind of Social Security benefit, including retired and disabled workers, as well as spouses, widows, widowers, and children.

If you’re a U.S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible. When we say you are “outside the United States,” we mean you’re not in one of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, or American Samoa. Once you’ve been outside the United States for at least 30 days in a row, we consider you to be outside the country.

If you are traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. Then we can let you know whether your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected.

You can use this online tool to find out if you can continue to receive your Social Security benefits if you are outside the United States or are planning to go outside the United States at

This tool will help you find out if your retirement, disability, or survivor’s payments will continue as long as you are eligible, stop after six consecutive calendar months, or if certain country specific restrictions apply.

When you live outside the United States, periodically we’ll send you a questionnaire. Your answers will help us figure out if you still are eligible for benefits. Return the questionnaire to the office that sent it as soon as possible. If you don’t, your payments will stop. In addition to responding to the questionnaire, notify us promptly about changes that could affect your payments.

You can also read the publication titled Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States at

Social Security is with you through life’s journey, even if that journey takes you outside the United States.


159 thoughts on “Social Security Benefits U.S. Citizens Outside the United States




    • Ms. Hudson, I don’t work for Social Security, but they are raising the limits for 2017, so my best guess is all Social Security recipients are getting an increase in their benefits. Best wishes.

    • I live outside the U.S. I am a U.S. Citizen but living on Guam which is a Territory of the U.S., with that being said, does that mean the benefits which I am receiving for my Son Stops??? Henceforth, I don’t plan on vacationing or leaving Island for more than 30 days. Another question, Will they be an increase for FY2017? Thank you~

      • Thanks to ss. I peace outside US with my 3 kids. I am retired and we all recieve benefits ie. SS. Will my SS be affected by any new law?

        • The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (Public Law 114-74; November 2, 2015), made some changes to Social Security’s laws and closed two complex loopholes that were used primarily by married couples. Your benefits and your children’s benefits should not be affected by these changes. Beneficiaries living abroad and needing to report changes or for assistance related to Social Security benefit, should contact the nearest U.S. embassy. Thanks!

    • Yes !! you will, we all will, and it amounts to about $2.00 per month … meanwhile, benefits to those reaping from welfare and food stamps have risen much more sharply

      • Consider:

        1) Politicians depend upon votes to maintain their positions of power, influence, and income. Raiding SSA coffers in order to add to general funds (replacing the booty in the SSA “vault” with IOUs) has allowed pols to spend irresponsibly, buying influence along the way. (The effects of this have been exacerbated by large numbers of Baby Boomers retiring, but pols KNEW this would happen even as they were spending like there was no tomorrow. We Boomers have been paying mightily into the retirement kitty — and the spendthrifts in DC took full advantage of all that cash, just burning a hole in their proverbial collective pocket. Don’t let them kid you; these paltry COL increases could have been better if our elected representatives had any integrity, whatsoever.)

        2) The average welfare and food stamp recipient will vote many more times in the remainder of their lives than the average Social Security recipient, who is nearer the end of his or her life.

        Coincidence? Unlikely.

    • I am age 69, just received noticed that I will be getting a $.01 oer month raise in SS for 2017; however, SS is deducting an extra $17.50 per month because of my 2015 earnings. This is no joke.

  2. Congress determines the formula for costs-of-living and are regularly considering an alternative method which in most years would be stingier, not better from a consumer’s point-of-view. The Labor Statistics agency will determine what the cost is based on certain measurements. This is an aggregate measure, so while your own costs may be higher or better controlled than the average American, the formula is a Congressional decision and captures average increases or decreases within specific costs in the national economy.

    The issue is therefore one for your legislators, not any agency. You can change that by a) how you vote after identifying what your candidate’s position is and b) by paying attention to your rep’s and Senators’ records and speaking up when you feel something is not fair. Find others who agree with you and organize. While a blog is a nice forum for self-expression, it is directed away from those who can do anything to change what is already in place. You ultimately are a lone voice and those who need to hear from you will probably not unless you contact their staff directly.

    • Yep. Just be sure not to vote people back in office who are considering cutting your SS benefits, because you don’t like other candidates.
      Good luck

      • I don’t think it matters! Those Congressman have been in the Congress, some for 30 years!! The people don’t have a say about anything anymore! Look at what we have to choose from for our next president, God help us all 😢🙏

      • I live outside the U.S. I am a U.S. Citizen but living on Guam which is a Territory of the U.S., with that being said, does that mean the benefits which I am receiving for my Son Stops??? Henceforth, I don’t plan on vacationing or leaving Island for more than 30 days. Another question, Will they be an increase for FY2017? Thank you~

      • We must be cognizant of the candidate who just has money, trickery, and so-called power. He has no love for the poor and needy who depend on Social Security, or racial injustices in his bias, racist eyes and his soul- less being. Being with him only furthers pure hatred.

  3. It has been reported by AARP that the increase will be miniscule – not much better than the 0% that you received the last couple of years. The estimate is 0.02% – or nothing.


  4. I was wondering if my benefit would be recalculated this fall? I retired late last year. Social Security used 75000 estimate for 2015 earnings. I had my best year ever over 118500 . At least one of my best 35 years should be replaced in the benefit calculation.

    • Hi Stephen. Each year, we review the records for all working Social Security recipients to see if additional earnings may increase monthly benefits. If your latest year of earnings turns out to be one of your highest years, we refigure your benefit and pay you any increase due. This is an automatic process, and benefits are paid in December of the following year. For example, in December 2016, you should get an increase for your 2015 earnings if those earnings raised your benefit. The increase would be retroactive to January 2016. We hope this information helps.

      • I just retired in May this year, and filled for my benefits but up to now, there has been no deposit in my account. What is the problem?

        • Hi Stephen. For your security, and the security of others, we do not have access to information about your request in this venue. The best way to accomplish your business with Social Security online is by creating a personal my Social Security account. You can use my Social Security to get a proof of benefits letter, change your address or phone number on our records, start or change your direct deposit, and check your benefit and payment information.

    • It will be, recomps are done automatically late September or early October. Bring in your W2’s for last year now tp the local office and your recomp will be done sooner.

  5. Well. Over half a million people, perhaps mostly American citizens, who live outside the US receive SS benifets. According to present rule a great number of these people will not be able to enjoy and benefit from online direct access, simply because they don’t have a US address.
    When will this rule be revisited again out of fairness to all these people??
    Thank you.

    • I am retired living (happily) outside US permanently. Now I can NOT access my account online because of new security code required each time. The only way to get the code requires a mobile phone with US number and address. There are over 8-million citizens living abroad who now have no access to their accounts. Lovely 🙂

    • So the answer is…NO access. And no plan to correct this massive mistake?
      Question: If and when I die, my wife needs to access the account to report and apply for survivor benefits.
      How will she do this? I need to give her instructions. Please provide. Thank you.

    • I live outside the USA and have my SS benefits deposited in an American Bank that has this same bank in my country. I just go to the ATM and withdraw my money.

    • Hi Miriam, our Retirement Estimator gives estimates of monthly Social Security benefits based on your actual Social Security earnings record. We have a variety of calculators to help you plan for the future. Which calculator you choose depends on what you want to do. We suggest that you create a my Social Security account. With your personal my Social Security account, you can verify your earnings, get your Social Security Statement, and much more. Happy planning!

      • Tell her to get an I phone first so that she’ll meet the new arbitrary security measures. Hope she has an extra 100 bucks lying around.

      • How can I verify my earnings when ”my social security” account is only inaccessible with a US number cell phone ????? Tell me how please???

      • The questions above regarding US Citizens living abroad and who wish to access their account but have no US mobile phone number needs an answer from the SSA person. Please respond because there are many of us living outside the USA currently.

        • Thanks for your question, Stephen. my Social Security does not support cell phone numbers more than 10 digits at this time. We currently support international phone numbers only if they are within the North American numbering plan of 10 digits. You can contact your local Embassy or Consulate at to find out information about your account or any claims that you may file online. Hope this helps!

          • There is NO international cell phone that can be txted from the USA using only 10 digits. The 10 digit number HAS to have a country code before the 10 digit cell number. So your policy and your statement is absolutely incorrect and violates the discriminatory laws and the Accessibility laws of the USA

          • Actually, Stephen, you are incorrect. Canada and most of the Caribbean countries can be texted with 10 digits; they do not require country codes. U.S. citizens who are residents of those countries can use online access just fine. (And what discrimination law has “foreign residents” as a protected category?)

  6. If you own a home. can the social security take your home after you died , if they help you with home care and medicine

  7. Do I understand the statement released by the social security office that if you move out of the country for more then six consecutive months you could lose your SS retirement money.

  8. Hello to ya; listen i am at the moment drawing ss benfits, and to be quite honest it is not enough to live on. so that´s why i am still working 65 hours at least a month. now the question i have for you is; will my ss benfits increase as time goes by? by the way i am living outside of the US, a reply on my e-mail would be very helpful.

  9. I think it is ridiculous that my benefits, such as 80% of medical expense, is not in effect if an emergency surgery happens while on vacation out of country. Why am I penalized for going on holiday and having a medical problem?

  10. I worked very hard not smart way because nobody told me how to work towards retirement. Living in the USA is … need car then car payment, rental room with my puppies. I like to grow my vegetables as gardening and food.

  11. It would be nice if the SSA would email the periodic questionnaire instead of relying on snail mail. In my case, living in Thailand, I have to hope a from mailed from the Philippines gets to me in Khon Kaen. If I fail to receive it and therefore return it, my payments stop until I send one in.

  12. Hello, yesterday too I had been with the psychiatric doctor.. i am paying fees to my cardiologist, endocrinologist, skin doctor, psychiatric doctors and neurologist. I am paying them.. If I live in India , US do not have a Medicare coverage .. whatever i have saved from the ssi i am paying with that money.

    Globally US is no 1 country. I had a dream to live in US and do something outstanding education or work like any other Indians (many doctors, Egnineers, so on…people have achieved their dreams .. without having their dream they achieved may be.. they are all intelligent people.. they do not dream they work and go on claiming the ladder).. I am not intelligent woman.. I dream ..and try to achieve.. and fall from the ladder.. once or twice.. so I fell down.. I cannot work 9 to 5 job in an timed.. timed environment… so when I tried to work I fell sick and admitted hospital.. when there is a social stigma for the mental patients I cannot talk or write saying i am a mental patient.. I have to tell the society I am normal.. look i am writing books.. look I am cooking so on.. But when it comes to work with normal people i know I cannot flow.. I do not want to fall from the ladder again.. so now with the ssi money i am living outside the US. Do you think I am happy being outside the US… I am living outside the US.. because.. with the ssi money I can spend money in Rupees to my domestic servants to help me.. I need not to ask money form the person who has given me the shelter (for him there is an advantage too,, that i take care of his domestic day to day affairs , and he is also disabled so he can be relaxed.. he knows i am a trust worthy woman).. but this person is not looking after me by giving all that emotional support because he himself having personality disorder, polio, leg is not normal.. alcoholic.. and yet he is an Indian citizen people are there to help him.. help him in all respect.. but I am as an U.S citizen living in India.. people won’t help me in the first hand.. oh she is an American..with the stigma disabled woman..
    Here comes the feeling.. yes I am proud to be American.. and I have root from India.. so I am an IndoAmerican.. I should feel proud to be both.. I think India is my mother and America is my father by feeling and in my imagination.. But in reality.. i am under the wing of SSI.. I do not want it but i cannot quite also.. why shall I do? If i come to US to claim the ladder or stay on the first step platue status.. I need a shelter to keep that ladder on the floor.. where is the floor for me.. I always go and live with my brother, or with my son.. there comes my daughter in law her parents.. her sister.. where I will be .. I will be in the kitchen and cleaning and taking care of my grand child even with my high blood sugar i should not talk where is my dream come true coming from village(India) is this is the status? I am very emotional person.. I get attached to people very soon.. I do not know how to get detached.. I listen to music.. I study to understand Bipolar i am studying psychology.. I like to work online if possible.. I am taking medicine.. I am putting fuel to my dream yes US is the land of opportunity.. i think that statue of liberity calming me come back I am here.. you can fulfill your dream.. yes.. I will be back to that holy country.. I like to work.. in what way i do not know .. may be work from home in the starting point.. I like to have my own shelter.. I need my car back.. I like to help needy people.. America is my dream land.. I would like to come back.. Americans find their gods in their work ,, in their charity work.. they do not harm others.. only very few here and there and it is natural because humans are from animals origin.. that instincts are always there wherever humankind is the matter of fact what is the ration… As an Indian born.. i would like help here the needy people as much as I can.. as an American I like to achieve something like any other Indians who are in a high achievement status.. but me as a Bipolar victim.. I can write in the corner of the room with my writing ability.. and sell that book and help needy people and do you think America will give me emotional support.. in changing India.. people are looking for computer advancement youngsters are loosing their roots and they are not Indian nor western.. limbo.. India is very rich country with their ancient cultural heritage.. rich with gold and jewleries.. rich with population and more than anything Indians are rich with their intelligence more intelligence than and average American.. yet even after 70 years of Independence struggling to consider as developed country list.. what is the problem I have to cover my mother with a saree.. and that red bottu.. She is my mother..

    what shall Ido now.. shall I continue with my write ups.. whatever god has given me the natural ability.. but no one is here to support me.. because I am an American separated woman from alcoholic husband including my daughter in law she says “you do not have any rights to tell me anything” and where I have to belong if not within my family” shall I start working in an office and end up in mental hospital again..? I do not have my own shelter in that vast country .. I do not know how to find my shelter .. shall I just pray god to help me or for the people who are disabled Social Security come forward to give a stick to hold it ( by giving a bit of money ) I do not know what .. my tears are rolling down on my check while I am writing.. I love America.. I like to live in America.. but this so much of intelligent .. powerful people around.. I am like a sparrow eating grins given by SS. Folks people who are disabled can understand my feelings.. Normal people cannot understand this.. so let it go ..

    Yes I would like to come to Social Security office and tell them look I have fulfilled my dream from now onwards I will start giving you.. you receive it.. AM I DREAMING IT .. THT STATUE OF LIBERTY KNOWS AND THE SO CALLED SUPPER POWER KNOWS IT (GOD).. I am trying to understand what is bipolar.. I competed my Master degree in psychology from Indian university.. I like to come back and start working …. Folks please bless me and wish me..with your sacred heart..
    I donot like to give my name.. I love you all I like America should grow both vertically (going to Mars and start living there and so on) and horizontally.. Mrs. clinton and her family (US) do not like to travel alone she build the bridge horizontally too… God bless America and the rest (servo sukino bavanthu).

  13. Mr Walker, you and Social Security sure have a way of scaring people. First, let me remind you the “money” we are talking about belongs to the people who paid into it via the tax that came out of our pay checks and does not belong to the Government. If you think differently then you better have a very good explanation. Secondly, not everyone has a “cell phone” with texting. Your current plan is a bad one. A very “Bad” one. Third, SSI is different from SS benefits payments. Full SS payments should never be affected no matter where one lives. The exceptions are banned Countries list. Other than that the questionnaire is unnecessary except to determine of a person is a live or not. 30 days is way to short of a period for that determination, 60 days would be more appropriated considering paperwork that needs to be filled by family or friends. I hope you take my message seriously.

  14. OK, Now tell everyone how many non-American citizens are receiving social security, the citizens of other countries.

    • Yes!!! How many of the 50 thousand Bhutanese who are now entrenched in OH receive Social Security monies…?????
      They have nice newish huge SUVs, Vans, etc…that no US Citizen could afford living on min wage!
      They do NOT “drive” safely nor do they OBEY any traffic laws “driving” or “walking”…

  15. I am retired living (happily) outside US permanently. Now I can NOT access my account online because of new security code required each time. The only way to get the code requires a mobile phone with US number and address. There are over 8-million citizens living abroad who now have NO access to their accounts. Lovely 🙂

    • This verification business should be relaxed to allow verification with email also. Most of us recipients living outside the US have an email account, to receive this message. There should be no cell phone or US address requirement for online access.

  16. I agree with Lawrence Westfall. I am living in Bangkok that is a bit better than Khon Kaen. SSA should consider using e-mail instead of rely on mail, especially mailing service in Thailand is horrible. Every year when I receive SSA report form, I am very glad that it gets to me and I must report back via “registered mail” just to make sure that it get back to the US. Lost mail is very common here, I did lost my check from TIAA CREF once and it took me half a year to get a replacement. SSA might argue that anybody can reply the e-mail for you. In this case SSA can randomly ask a person to report at the local US Consulate in person before stop the payment. I rather do that more than relying on Thai Mailing Service.

  17. So the answer is…NO access. And no plan to correct this massive mistake?
    Question: If and when I die, my wife needs to access the account to report and apply for survivor benefits.
    How will she do this? I need to give her instructions. Please provide. Thank you.

    • As you can’t apply for widow(er) benefits online you have to call 800-772-1213 for information on how to apply. You can also contact your local Embassy or Consulate for how to file your claim.

    • Thank you for your question. Your wife cannot apply for survivors benefits online. If she wants to apply for survivors benefits on your record, she will need to contact her Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment. She can speed up the application process if she completes an Adult Disability Report and have it available at the time of her appointment.


  19. These poor people like to steal from SSI. They will not notify the SSA that they are outside the US. Most of them will never get caught because the SSA doesn’t check. The SSA doesn’t even have the staff or resources to check with the Department of Homeland Security. The worst that will happen to them if they get caught is to repay the overpayment. Then they will ask for a waiver to repay the overpayment because they can’t afford to pay it back.

    The Democrats want to give illegal immigrants green cards so the illegal immigrants can collect SSI and live back in their native country good while the US tax payers is getting ripped off.

  20. “Over half a million people who live outside the United States receive some kind of Social Security benefit, including retired and disabled workers, as well as spouses, widows, widowers, and children”. It doesn’t matter if you live inside or outside the US, the Socialist Security system can’t even fix an outdated “RULE” that they use to justify discrimination against physically disabled people.

    If you are a physically disabled person (an adult disabled child) and you happen to marry an “able bodied person” you will be loosing out on a lifetime of benefits, all because of a one word “rule” that prohibits you from marrying an “able bodied person”. Best of all, they never tell you about their “Rule” so that they can justify cutting off any benefits that you may be due.

    Because you are physically disabled (adult disabled child) and you choose not to marry another adult disabled child or disabled person drawing off socialist security, you WILL LOOSE ANY AND ALL BENEFITS FOR LIFE. This means that the SOCIALIST SECURITY system is TELLING YOU WHO YOU ARE ALLOWED TO MARRY and who you are
    NOT ALLOWED TO MARRY! It is a discriminatory act “rule” and should be ILLEGAL!

    Even though I am permanently and totally disabled, if I marry an “able bodied person”, somehow that marriage makes everything ok and I am no longer considered disabled (in the eyes of the socialist security system). Magically (because I married an able bodied person), the pixie fairies come down and cure my disability, because now I can just go out and find gainful employment, no one will discriminate against my physical disability and everything will be grand, right? Somehow magically, marrying an able bodied person makes my physical disablility dissappear and now I am cured, right? WRONG!

    The issue is a special “Rule” that the Socialist Security System uses to discriminate against “certain” people. If you are a “physically disabled person” (AKA-certain people) and happen to marry an able bodied person, then the SOCIALIST SECURITY system will use special “Rules” to legally discriminate against you and deny you benefits, even if you appeal online.

    The SOCIALIST SECURITY system has caused me a lot of economic hardship all because I married an able bodied person. The SOCIALIST SECURITY system thinks someone who is physically disabled (permanently and totally disabled) marries an “able bodied person”, that somehow magically they are cured of their physical disability and two people can survive off the able bodied persons income. WOW, talk about a bunch of bureaucratic idiotic thinking, that somehow this would not cause a financial hardship….. amazing.

    The rules that the Social Security Administration uses to legally discriminate against persons who are “Adult Disabled Children” who happen to marry an able bodied person, are discriminatory. This is loosely referred to as the “marriage penalty” but I call it exactly what it is, a legal form of discrimination.
    I firmly believe this rule, is an act of bias, prejudice and discrimination against people who (by no fault of their own) are born disabled and happen to marry an able bodied person

    Please write your Congressional Representative and tell them to end this modern day form of Legal Discrimination. In this day of fairness and equality, there are still some people suffering from an outdated and oppressive bureaucratic rule.

    (PS. notice how the only thing any of these SOCIALIST SECURITY workers ever say are quotes of the rules or processes, like a worker drone. They are unable to address any topics that fall outside of their rule books). Typical bureaucracy and bureaucratic responses, like trying to argue over lost change with a vending machine!

  21. I plan on retiring to Belize in 8 years, and I certainly hope by then that the government gets their act together, join the 21st century, and open the online access to any address in this WORLD !!! My SS# goes with me, no matter where I am, and you can’t be on any official government site without entering your last 4 digits of your SS# – SO – why would it matter that my address is within the US or outside of the US?

  22. After reading the beneficiaries’ living abroad point of view, I realize that some legislation should be done in order to embrace them in the system. Lets put our hand together to connect these people to the SS directly. The ruling of a U.S. address and phone number could be changed for those leaving abroad. Maybe the American Embassies could make the proper identification.
    The problem exists, so, lets find a solution.

  23. I feel exactly the same way as Jerry Mr Walker as thousands of us do. These rules are more communistic in nature than democratic. It is really scary living like this .

  24. I retired in the Philippines, there is no Medicare coverage here, That is the dilemma of retirees that reside here. But the US embassy employees, have their health coverage. I wonder, if the SSS, already address this problem, or already have a solution, that I do not know. Please help.

  25. I live overseas, and do not have a U.S. cell phone. Yet now you tell me that I can neither review nor receive my annual statement unless I have a U.S. cell phone (your site will not accept my overseas cell phone number). With so many of us living outside the U.S., some accommodation should be made so that we can access our accounts and not be cut off and abandoned.

  26. WHAT A CROCK! THESE SIGHTS ARE A JOKE! DISGUSTED TO CALL MYSELF AN AMERICAN & DISGUSTED WITH THE USA. people working in gov. department’s say they can help. do you have any idea how many bogus gov. jobs out there that say they can help and DON’T? they give false info which hurt you more, and don’t help. THEY SHOULD BE FIRED. there would be more money for DISABLED PEOPLE, VET’S ETC…LIKE ME.
    PEOPLE JUST COMING IN THE usa ARE GETTING IT ALL!!! EVERYTHING!!! THEY ARE LIVING MY AMERICAN DREAM!!! born and raised in the usa. PAID into the system since 16yrs old. told to do this, told to do that to mess my credit even more. no land lord will rent to me. now homeless. in a tent, in a park, in parking lots one eye open, one closed. praying my dog and i will be safe and not go to jail. THANK GOD FOR THE CAR the only roof over my head which the gov. says i don’t need, nor a cell phone, dog or tv) all these sights, gov dept’s are worried about is me having a P.O. BOX for my mail. if not things I received this year will be taken from me…
    medications and rent increase with NO COST OF LIVING INCREASE FOR 7YRS BECAUSE OF THE OBAMA CARE DID ME IN . what a joke. $20 increase in 2014 &15 is NO HELP!!!!
    i know someone NOT born here, husband makes more $ than GOD gets FREE COLLEGE. that’s just one. i know a few others getting gov. help and don’t deserve it..
    You have more was of the rich keeping their $$$ than us….banks are bailed out while we get hit with high interest rates and late fees….you need to stop the bull and take care of those that are in really need.
    been inventing my whole life. came up with 85 item that took others 5 to 30 yrs to think of. still have more ideas. people could be working including myself but you make it impossible to do so…
    so much more to complain about. whats the use. it will go in one ear and out the other andy you’ll do nothing to help…..why have these sites if your not going to do anything about helping…..i’m to much of a lady to really say what’s on my mind with the gov. you should all go through what we are and feel what we are feeling. MAYBE SOMETHING WOULD BE DONE ABOUT THE SITUATIONS!!! YEAH RIGHT! WISHING YOU AND YOUR FAMILY THE SAME WE ARE GOING THROUGH!!!

    • In Florida, the Division of Driver License has a line for US Citizens and a line for Non-Citizens.

      Social Security should make two ALJ hearing waiting periods, one for SSDI and another for SSI. The American Workers who are applying for SSDI should have a shorter waiting period than SSI. Those applying for welfare(SSI) should have a longer waiting period.

      The American Workers who labored hard and pay taxes have to wait behind lazy people who never work or paid federal taxes.

      The American Workers have to wait, mess up their credit, and become homeless before they can speed up their hearing date.

      The lazy people who never work a day in their lives can get a hearing date much faster because of Dire Need. Of course everyone applying for SSI has Dire Need because their maximum resources is $2000 and that money would run out by the time they get their initial decision.

      The American Working Class gets penalized all the time.

      The American Working Class can get denied at Step 4 of the disability process because the SSA lied and said they can perform their previous work. The lazy people who never work a day in their lives can skip Step 4 because they don’t have any previous work history.

      The people who do hard manual labor all of their life hasn’t increased their life expectancy. They die off early. The SSA doesn’t want to give them disability and force them to go back to work, so they can die and never collect Social Security retirement.

      The lazy people who never working a day in their lives on SSI can collect for the rest of their lives while the tax payers pay for everything including food stamps, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing.

  27. A worker has a 1 in 4 chance of becoming disabled before they retire. What are the chances of a lazy bum who never work a day in their lives becoming disabled?

    • The people on SSDI is only one fourth of the total people on Social Security Retirement.

      The people on SSI disability is doubled the amount of people on SSI older than 65.

      The SSA has been handing out free SSI money, Medicaid, and Section 8 housing to these lazy people on SSI. They are going to live longer and put a burden on SSI older than 65 in the future just like the people receiving Social Security Retirement are doing now. There is going to be an explosion of these people on SSI for people over 65.

      The Medicaid expansion really messed up the SSI program because more people are able to get disability through medical records and live longer to receive SSI for people over 65.

      There is so much fraud in SSI from people working, hiding resources, and moving outside the US.

  28. The new 10 digit cell phone number requirement to log onto my S.S. has effectively block out millions of expats who need to add a country code in order to get the security code text message. All other service providers who have this requirement at least had the common sense to allow for 13 digit cell numbers so as not block out customers with cell phone in foreign countries.

  29. I am an American citizen currently living in Taiwan. I will most likely retire here in Taiwan. Will I be able to apply for and receive SS benefits once I reach retirement age?

    Thank you.

  30. The SSA is a bunch of crooks. You become vested in the retirement plan and they can’t guarantee you nothing.

    Increase the amount of credits needed if they are not vested yet. Increase their age if they are not vested yet. Why does the SSA rip people off who are vested in their retirement plan?

    The local government and private sector doesn’t do this to people who are vested in their retirement plan.

    • You work early in life, minimum wage is low and your earnings are low. You become vested and your benefits are low.

      A person who works later in life has a higher wage due to cost of living and higher minimum wage.

      If they only work 40 credits to get vested, the person doing the 40 credits later in life would get more. The person who is vested later in life causes more benefits to be paid out for the same amount of credits.

      A person who start working when they are 18-67 has 49 years of service. Only 35 of those years are calculated. Instead of increasing the age, increase the years of service. Those who have not work as long would make less.

  31. Over half a million receiving benefits, not all have current US addresses. Those sith no US address can not benefit from online access, according to present requirements. Will you revisit the requirement that excludes all these people?

  32. I was dupe by receiving benefits too early,no one said that that it would impact your monthly benefits .I for one am still smarting for signing up at 63+

  33. RE: SSA-7162-OCR-SM, Report to the United States Social Security Administration.

    I received a delayed form n September due a cock up with the Post Office of Costa Rica. So immediately on September 23, 2016, bus home and called SSA at 1-800-772-1213 waiting 58 minutes online for an agent. I got one and he helped filed the form over the phone.

    Now today, I go to the Post Office here and guess what, I had a new form with a promise to cut off my fund in 45 days if I don’t do the form. This one “Second request Oct 05, 2016.” Now I am waiting online for a wait of thirty-five minutes to walk through this again. Will your office in Wilkes Barrie PA 18767-7162, be happy with me UNLESS I DO SEND in the form? You cut off a friend here because she never got the form and it cost her $30 and must upset to get the US Embassy in San Jose to fix her money-held-back-problem? Location the SSA employee in San Jose who could help her was a major part of her nightmare I recall.

    What is your best advice? Are the phone agents ever authorized to do this for me?

  34. My 4 year old daughter Juwayria was born in reston virginia usa
    She was diagnosed as midly autistic
    We now live in the militancy hit kp province of Pakistan
    Her condition has detoriated because there are no facilities for early intervention in autistic kids
    She has a great chance if she is given special care in usa which i cannot afford
    Pls help my daughter
    Best wishes

  35. If my residency is in a foreign country, can I open an account for online services, such as “my Social Security”?
    If not, it is a real problem…getting regular mail takes as much as a month and is not very secure.

    • We are sorry for the inconvenience, Michael. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits.

  36. Hi,

    I’m an American citizen and was working steadily in the U.S. from 1982 until 2009. I have been living and working abroad as a U.S. Resident in South Korea since 2009. I have not paid any Social Security tax since I stopped working in 2009. I used to receive yearly statements from Social Security; telling me how much I had accumulated in benefits and how much I could expect to get in monthly retirement benefits if I waited until the age of 71.

    My question is, do I still have accumulated SS benefits under my name even if I am not currently earning a U.S. based income? What happens if I decide to come back to the U.S. and start working again? Will my SS contributions be added to what I already had deducted over the previous 27 years or will I have forfeited anything I accumulated and have to start from scratch?

  37. hello,
    I would like to inquire on how long am I allowed to stay outside the US and still continue to receive my SSA.
    Thank you in advance.

  38. I, too, am disabled. I worked hard, got into an Ivy League college, worked my way through school and became an architect. My husband and I started our own business and paid Social Security Self Employment Tax every year on time. Then my neck was injured and it became completely disabling because I had spent so many years bending over a drafting board. I tried to keep working but lost my hand coordination.

    Finally got SSDI. It was a relief but my husband and I still had to refinance our house and take the maximum amount out to cover the medical bills and insurance premiums that had increased to $2800/month. Our baby was only 17 months old and I could not care for him and clean the house and do grocery shopping so we had to hire a full time nanny/housekeeper so my husband could work. No matter how many hours he worked we had to put the mortgage on credit cards. After $87,000 in debt we had to declare bankruptcy.

    I would have helped out but I couldn’t use my arms. I learned to pick things up off the floor and turn off light switches with my feet.

    After about 8 years my neck was better so I went back to school to learn Spanish with plans to become a court translator. Was accepted to a translation school with very very strict requirements and did well in the program. I lived and breathed translation staying up all night to finish my projects. But when we reached the part where you have to translate the 3 sentences at a time, I was experiencing memory lapses.

    At that point I realized I could not do court translation so I decided to get my credential to teach English to Spanish speaking people. Took more classes, passed the test to get a teaching credential but was having trouble walking to my linguistics class. Went to a neurologist and was immediately diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Still determined to start teaching, I ended up spending the next 6 months out of the hospital and my doctor told me I had a very serious case of it. That’s when my husband broke down in tears and told me he had just lost his job. He found another job at half the salary so we did everything we could to save money. Sold things on the Internet, canceled cable, started eating less, had no money to help our son go to college. He went to medical school but cannot make enough money to make his student loan payments. Our brilliant president from 2000-2008 gutted financial aid for students and made student loans private with high interest while students were going to school. So our son now owes $240,000. He can’t even get married or buy a house so he could never help me.

    So here I am with nothing, no retirement and not enough to live on. My Social Security payment never goes up anymore, battling MS and facing the horror of a new administration that is determined to make the rich richer and the poor can die (they are just lazy bums).

    I still live in the US where I was born but I want to leave. I really want to leave. That’s why I read everyone’s posts., That’s why I am on this blog.

    Bernie is right. It’s time for a revolution. We need to overthrow this administration and start redistributing the wealth. Whatever it takes. That is why we have the right to bear arms. Time to form a militia and get them OUT!!!

  39. Why is it that just because I’m living outside of the states (The Netherlands) and a US Citizen, that I am unable to create an account on “my Social Security” page? When trying to make an account It states that I must have a stateside address and telephone number which I don’t have. (I took a European Out when I left the Army back in ’83 and both parent’s are deceased).

    • We apologize for the inconvenience Mr. Hill and appreciate you trying to use our online services. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or to access your online account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

      • Thank you very much for you response Ray. Much appreciated.
        I do , however, have just one more question that hopefully you can answer.
        Is the benefit’s paid out in US$ or in the currency denomination of the country in which I am living? If it’s the latter, then what about currency conversion fee(s). Who’s responsible for that. Me or the SSA? If it’s me, then instead of having my benefit’s paid out to a local bank here in The Netherlands, can I instead have them paid out to bank there in the States, such as Payoneer (I already have an account with them), for which I already have a MasterCard Debit card? That way I wouldn’t have to pay any currency conversion charge’s?
        Again, thank you for your support and I hope to see you reply soonest.

        • hi Glenn. International Direct Deposit (IDD) for some countries is in U.S. dollars. Other countries included in multinational contracts that receive IDD in local currency, deposits are transmitted to the processing banks, where the exchange rate is established. We ask our customers living abroad to contact their nearest U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to their Social Security benefits. This link includes the U.S. Embassy email address and their telephone number. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  40. My mom just had her Social Security benefits suspended without any notification. She lives in the U.K and had received benefits for the past 3 years. How can this be rectified? Need a little help!

    • Hi Gerald, we are sorry for the inconvenience. You’re right, at this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or to access your online account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  41. My mom is on Social Security and what makes the current Administration Donald Trump and Mike Pence and Paul Ryan thinking they’re doing by taking trying to take Social Security Medicare and Medicaid away they should be ashamed of themselves for lion on the campaign Trail saying I hope I will not get rid of Social Security Medicare Medicaid we will trying to find a solution to pay into it to keep it around Donald Trump lied I think Paul Ryan should be ashamed of yourself cuz he does not care about the American people or what they want future retirees and retirees at this point rely on Social Security children rely on social security for benefits if they take it away that be tens of thousands of Americans outside of the United States and also in the United States that will be no coverage whatsoever for them nursing homes hospitals will go busted the industry would be closed and water people will be hungry and homeless because it won’t be there for their houses or apartments or place to live Paul Ryan is an idiot Donald Trump is a loser and Mike Pence is removed as well as the other two the Trump supporters put his hand over and jam if this happens we will be screwed financially in this country will be ruined Beyond repair I hope to God that it doesn’t happen

  42. I want to know if i am outside of the country, if i have to prensent taxes every year? if there are a special form for that or i dont have to present and pay taxes every year?
    Im not sure if i write correctly in english what i want to say. i will try in spanish.
    Lo que quiero saber es si siendo jubilada y viviendo fuera del pais debo presentar declaracion de renta todos los años y si es asi donde puedo ver el formulario. y saber si debo algo.

  43. I am a US Citizen living in India. I will be 62 in July 2017. I have the necessary credits to be eligible for Social Security benefits. I have received the estimated benefit statement from Social Security office about a year ago.

    I understand I will get reduced benefits if I apply before my full retirement age. It is OK with me and I do want to apply for my Social Security Benefits now so that I can begin to receive social security when I turn 62.


    1. I am a shareholder in 2 private companies in India and one private company in US. I do not actually do any work for them and not do I receive any income from them. Does this mean I cannot apply for Social Security Benefits until I reach 66 years?

    2. If I sell all my shares in the Indian companies but continue to be a shareholder in the US company, will I qualify for applying for Social Security benefits?

    Thank you
    Rali Panchanatham

    • Thank you for your question Rali. There may be specific questions that may arise in connection with claims involving individuals who are shareholders in a corporation and its operation. In your situation, and for any assistance related to your Social Security benefits, please contact the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines, which services the area where you are living. This link includes the U.S. Embassy email address. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  44. Good day mam/sir;

    I just wanna ask about my daughter’s benefits her benefit starts on january this year the problem is we didn’t get the first cheque you send it to us by mail for we are living outside the country and were still waiting for it to arrive but we already report it to the american embassy here in the Phillipines and we were told that they gonna cancel it and issue another one for that month and we were lucky we got the second payment , we just like to inform you about what happen with the first payment!we already send the direct deposit form to the american embassy here in the phillipines!
    Thank you for assisting us!

    • Hello Marie Jane. Unfortunately, your request is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your daughters account in this venue. We urge you to continue working with your local embassy or consulate office. You can find their contact information, including an email address, on our Office of International Operations page. Hope this helps!

  45. Hello,
    I emigrated to the US in 1985 and returned to the UK in 2012. I never naturalized and remained a Alien Resident until my return to the UK in 2012

    Based on my work history which is over 20 years paying into Social Security will I ever be eligible for retirement benefits even though I am now back in the UK. And how would I proceed to follow up this to make a claim if I do qualify.

    Thank you for you assistance.

    • Hello Darren. Thank you for your question. Generally, to be eligible for Social Security benefits, an individual must be either: a U.S. citizen, or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence. However, in some cases, we may pay benefits to non-citizens outside of the United States if they meet certain conditions. For payments to non-citizens living outside the United States, go to our Frequently Asked Questions web page. Additionally, we urge you to contact the U.S. Embassy in UK, for further assistance. Here is our Office of International Operations home page which provides more information for individuals living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  46. I have lived outside US for nearly 8 years. When i left i was a resident not a citizen but i didnt file taxes the last year i was there (2009). How do i get in contact with Social Security to see if i could claim whatever money i have? and how will the process be if live in south america now. Thanks!

    • Hi Carlos. Generally, you will need to have 40 “credits”, or 10 years of paying Social security taxes to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. If you stop working before you have enough credits to qualify for benefits, your credits will stay on your record. If you return to work later on, you can add more credits so that you can qualify. No benefits can be paid if you do not have enough credits. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page to learn more about Social Security benefits and non-citizens. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Thanks.

  47. My mother passed away recently and was a beneficiary living outside the US, I cannot find and email or phone number to call from abroad to report her death. Help would be appreciated!

    • We are sorry to hear about your loss Matthew. To report the death, you can contact the nearest U.S. Embassy in the area. You may also contact us by phone, but you will need to pay for the call because we do not currently have a toll-free service for calls from outside the U.S. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. Keep in mind that to be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in January, you must return the benefit paid in February. Although, some of the deceased’s family members may be eligible to receive survivor’s benefits. We hope this information helps.

    • Thank you for your question Celinda. You may still be eligible to continue to receive your Title II Social Security payments outside the United States. Please keep in mind that if you receive benefits from Social Security, you have a legal obligation to report changes, which could affect your eligibility for disability, retirement, and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you reside abroad, there may also be times when contact with your local American embassy or consulate is required. Please visit our Payments Abroad Screening Tool web page to find out if you can continue to receive your payments in Mexico. . Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  48. Hello,
    If I have lived in USA for 10+ years, but have not accumulated 40 credits, and I am living outside the USA (country from list 4), can I get SS benefits after retirement or disability? Or can my family get survival benefits?

    • In the United States you will generally need to have 40 “credits”, or 10 years of paying Social Security taxes to qualify for any type of Social Security benefit. Workers who have divided their careers between the United States and a foreign country sometimes fail to qualify for retirement, survivors or disability insurance benefits (pensions) from one or both countries because they have not worked long enough or recently enough to meet minimum eligibility requirements. Under a “Totalization Agreement”, such workers may qualify for partial U.S. or foreign benefits based on combined, or “totalized,” coverage credits from both countries. Please visit our International Programs webpage to learn more.

  49. I live legally in Canada and have my ss check direct deposited. It is never late. Except today. Can someone please tell me the correct phone number to call to see what has happened? I live in Nova Scotia.


  50. Dear sirs, i have resided outside the U.S. no for 17 years. I live in Mexico now, my parents needed of a third party to care for them. Now that this part of my life is over, i ask, how do i apply for ssn benefits now that i will be oving in Mexico. Is it possible?? Please help with information, i am totally lost in this subject.

  51. My father who was an american citizen died more than 2 years ago. My mother (who is a non US-citizen) receives her monthly sss survivor benefits.

    Per advise of the US Embassy, she is required to enter the US territory every 6 months so that her benefits will not be stopped.

    She is turning 67 years old this July 2017 and it is possible that because of her health it will not be very convenient for her to go to the US every 6 months.

    Is there a way that she can continue receiving her benefits without going to the US every 6 months? Is it possible for her just to physically report to the US Embassy here in Manila, Phils. instead.

    I hope you can kindly reply to this query. Thank you.

    • In most cases, we stop payments to non-citizens after they are outside the United States for six calendar months in a row. For assistance with your Social Security benefits, please continue working with the U.S. Embassy in Manila. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. To learn more about the law regarding payments outside the U.S. for Social Security beneficiaries please click here.

  52. Hello. I’ve been living in Philippines for 6 months now and on disability, social security has not corresponded to me since I moved in oct 2016, before moving I went to social security office and gave them all the info including new mailing address in the philippines so they could stop the medicare and not my payment. Its been six months and I have sent them 2 letters and still heard nothing from them they are also garnishing medicare premiums from my check after I closed the insurance in the U.S. before I left. The social security office in the embassy you can’t never get through to them. What the hell do I do? Are they gonna cut my benefits off as now I paid 1,650 peso for fed x to mail the 3rd letter, im so worried that my own gov is gonna leave me hanging by not doing their job and my benefits be in trouble. Please help me here, this is stressful not knowing what the hell going on and why they have not responded.

    • We apologize for the inconvenience Ken. In your situation you should still contact the U.S. Embassy in Manila, which services the area where you are living. This link includes the U.S. Embassy email address. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more contact information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

    • There is a good chance you can contact the SSA in Manila bynusing email. I don’t recall the address, but they do respond, although using your SSAN is not recommended. Also, I have used philpost registered mail rather than fedex and it works. Slow, but does get to the address

  53. Hello,
    My Mom is a US Citizen living in Canada. She has been receiving Social Security checks since about 2010 (I think survivor benefits after my Dad passed away many years ago).

    I drove to Canada last weekend to help my Mom with her income taxes, and found several unopened letters deep in her paperwork stack. There were two form 7162 letters dated in 2015, and a letter saying the SSA was going to stop her benefits since they had not heard from her. On further research, I found that the SSA hasn’t sent her Social Security check since February of 2016!!! And some of her monthly auto-pay bills have been failing due to the money not being in her account.

    To get her checks going again, does she just fill out the 7162 and send it in? Or is there something else she needs to do? Due to health reasons she can no longer travel to the nearest SSA office in the US, but I can probably travel to Canada and take her to the US Consulate near where she lives. Also, will she get the last year’s worth of missing checks?


    • Hi Ken, thank you for using our blog to communicate with us! We are required to periodically verify if individuals living outside the United States are still eligible for Social Security benefits. In your mother’s situation, a face-to-face interview will probably expedite the reinstatement of her Social Security benefits. Taking your mom to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate is a great idea. Also, this directory provides the Social Security Administration’s Resident Office for those beneficiaries residing in Canada. If you are concerned that she may be having problems managing her benefits, ask about the Social Security’s Representative Payment Program. We hope this information helps!

      • Thank you for your response, Ray. I am still a little confused on what our next step should be, though.

        Should she send in the 7162 first? Or set up an appointment at the consulate? (I’ve found in other situations, the consulate would not allow family members to attend meetings, and I am afraid my Mom won’t fully understand what she is being asked). Or, should I contact an SSA office local to me here in the US to talk through what should be done?
        – Ken

        • Hi Ken, please contact your local office for guidance. Based on the information you provided earlier and the length of time that your mother’s benefits have been suspended, a face-to-face interview may be required. Thanks!

  54. I did not receive my direct deposit benefits since march 2017 till now for no reason, I made so many calls and emails and the American embassy in cairo , with no responds, please help me, I am 74 yrs , and desperate for my benefits. thank you ! my ss# *** – ** – **** , live in alex. egypt

    • Thank you for using our blog to communicate with us! For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this venue. For assistance with your Social Security benefits, please continue working with the nearest U.S. Embassy in your area. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  55. Just signed up for Medicare A from outside the US. Website said to check my online account or make an online account to see status of the application as well as other benefits.

    Online accounts cannot be setup if an address outside the US was used for registration.

    So, how do I check if the application for Medicare A has gone through?

    • You’re right, you need a U.S. address to register for a my Social Security account. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for issuing an account. People with APO/FPO/DPO addresses can create an account overseas, but our system does not support registration and account creation for users with a foreign address yet. Please contact the nearest U.S. embassy in your area, for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. Please remember that you do not need a U.S. address to access our website and obtain general information about our programs. Thanks.

  56. My query has to do with survivor benefits. As background, I am a retiree receiving SSA benefits and my children also receive benefits through a payee representative. I live overseas. The two children who receive the benefits are presently 13 and 16 years old. I also have an adopted daughter 18 years old, but she is not eligible as she is not a US citizen. My wife is also not a US citizen and also living overseas (our entire family). I am a retired federal employee, receiving a Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) annuity. My question has to do with the survivor benefits my children may be eligible for if I should die and my wife is also gone. I understand that if the children apply for SSA survivor benefits, they may lose eligibility for the federal employee survivor benefit. Can you advise me about this so I can plan ahead for my children.

  57. How the Social Security Administration knows when someone receiving SS benefits dies abroad. I had a cousin living in Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) that passed away a year ago, he has no family there and his Social Security check was deposited in one of the local banks. I don’t believe any body notify the Social Security Office of his death and I don’t believe the bank was going to do it either.

    • Thank you for your feedback Solange. We are required to periodically verify if individuals living outside the United Sates are still eligible for Social Security benefits. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents to provide more information about this case. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or contact the local Social Security office.

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