Retiring Overseas? What You Need to Know About Getting Benefits Abroad

retire-overseasThere are a number of people who choose to live their retirement years in places outside of the United States. Perhaps retirement in Thailand or Portugal is in your plans. Maybe you plan to split your year between Central Europe and Central Asia. In many cases, it’s still possible to receive your retirement benefits while living abroad. Our website can help you navigate your benefit eligibility while living overseas.

If you’ve worked in both the United States and another country, it may be possible for your credits to combine for a larger benefit. Currently, there are 25 countries with such international agreements with the United States. To find out if you have qualifying work in a country with such an agreement, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/international.

You can receive benefits in many countries. To find out whether you can receive your benefits in the country where you are retiring, you should use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool at www.socialsecurity.gov/international/payments_outsideUS_page10.html.

There are easy ways to get in touch with us and report changes to Social Security if you live overseas. You can contact your local U.S. embassy, write to us by mail, or call us at 1-800-772-1213. You can find other information in regards to living overseas at www.socialsecurity.gov/foreign.

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178 thoughts on “Retiring Overseas? What You Need to Know About Getting Benefits Abroad

  1. I receive benefits from ss I live half n half overseas n here …widow then remarried overseas ..I was on ss disability then I guess they switched me over cause the age to regular ss….so I’m reading this article about possibly getting more is my question?
    Thank u

    • No you don’t get more. Once you start taking SSDI it stays at that rate and just changes into regular Social Security retirement when you hit your full retirement age, same as if you took early retirement.

    • Do not for any reason let them know that you are getting a pension from another country,is another way to control you and for that country to reduce your benefits-for example if you move to Italy and you getting SS benefits but you entitled to get benefits from Italy too (from working there before you moved to USA) if they find out you;re getting benefits from USA will reduce your Italian benefits to minimum and even denied benefits for good…

      • The United States has bilateral Social Security agreements with 26 countries. International Social Security agreements, often called “Totalization agreements,” help assure continuity of benefit protection for persons who have acquired Social Security credits under the system of the United States and the system of another country. Please visit our Office of International Programs home page for the most accurate information and an overview of the International Agreements. Thanks!

  2. Im 59 years old in disability since 2001. If i reached age 62 they just switched my ssdi benefits to social security? Pls. Advise. Thank you

    • Hi Rod. When you receive disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits, when you attain your Full Retirement Age. The benefit amount will generally remain the same.

      • Thank you for your response. Greatly appreciated. Is that means Im under SSDI until I reach my full retirement age of 66 years old and 6 months.

        Please advise

        Rod

        • Yes Rod, we will automatically convert your disability benefits to retirement benefits. Your benefit amount remains the same. Thanks!

  3. I am a US Citizen, who worked in Sydney Australia for American Companies during 1970 to 1976. I paid the appropriate income taxes and medical retirement taxes while living and working in Australia.

    Have I earned any credits that should be reported to the Social Security System here in the United States ?

    • Great question Bruce. If we need to count your credits under the Australian system to help you qualify for a U.S. benefit, we will get the necessary information directly from Australia when you apply for benefits. However, you will need to provide evidence of the periods when you worked in Australia or were covered by Australia’s SG legislation. The Australian authorities will provide us with a certification of the periods they can verify.
      Please visit our International Programs web page to learn more about the Totalization Agreement between the United States and Australia. We hope this information helps.

  4. We want better benefits from the United States. OASI is just as dry as the DI trust fund when it comes to COLA. $2.8 trillion in savings are underground. Retiring does not improve disability benefits, they remain the same. Doing all of SSAs work for years on end, also does not improve benefits. Even the 2.37% DI tax rate that broke Boehner’s back does not improve benefits more than 0.3% over two years because the United States SSA can’t do the math it takes to pay us the 6% COLA that is temporarily afforded at either the wrong 2.37% or right 2.4% DI tax rate that must stabilize at 2.2% DI and 10.2% OASI in 2018 to afford a 3% COLA and only maybe make a withdrawal from OASI, before taxing the rich to end poverty by 2020 beginning with SSI benefits for 16-24 million poor children. The kind of SSA every nation would want an international agreement rather than tax haven investigation with. Elect me Social Security Commissioner and pass the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss1.htm

  5. After many years of working, my spouse received approval for disability and was receiving checks for a couple of years. Now she has successfully returned to work, and those checks are stopping soon. She is currently 59 and plans to work until 65. How does this period on disability affect her retirement SS payment?

    • Thank you for your question Kurt. A period of disability, if used to compute a beneficiary’s retirement benefits, could have a reduction effect on his or her future benefits. This is because a disabled individual, generally has little or no earnings during a period of disability. We refer to a period of disability for a worker as a “disability freeze”. To prevent the reduction or loss of future benefits, a disability freeze eliminates the years of low earnings due to disability when computing benefit amounts for certain Social Security benefits.
      The disability freeze provisions, in effect, ignore periods of disability when computing a retirement benefit. Thus, the individual is “held-harmless” as far their potential entitlement to other types of Social Security benefits. We hope this information helps.

  6. I am a US citizen, 73 yrs old, I worked in US for 30 yrs. and now staying in the Philippines for my retirement, the SS health care provider doesn’t cover retirees here, just wondering the citizens of Guam have health care provider that cover them if they need to be hospitalized here in the Philippines, same with the US embassy employees. Just wondering why can’t we have same benefit. I would like to enjoy the rest of my retirement years with peace of mind. Please reply i will appreciate your honest response. Thanks

    • Guam is a US territory and hence the citizens there are covered for healthcare in Philippines. But if they retire and then seek healthcare in the Philippines they will be denied. Embassy employees is a different cadre altogether. They are covered wherever they are posted while they are on active duty. That is my understanding.

    • Hi Reynaldo, according to current regulations, Medicare is not available outside the United States (U.S.) because, Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the United States (U.S.) Federal Government and is based on residence in the United States and it’s territories. For more information about Medicare visit http://www.medicare.gov.

  7. If I go for one month out of usa I know I don’t need to inform SS Office but on that time if I fill sick and can not come back, do I have to inform office on arrival or something else to do?

  8. I am leaving for Singapore/ Malaysia in a week. Will be there for three weeks. Will I be covered by Medicare while there?

    • Thanks for your question, Robert. Medicare coverage outside the United States is limited. Generally, Medicare does not cover health care while you are outside the United States. Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands are considered part of the United States. To learn more about Medicare coverage outside of the United States, go to https://www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11037.pdf. We hope this helps.

    • Under certain circumstances, special extra earnings for your military service from 1957 through 2001 can be credited to your record for Social Security purposes. These extra earnings credits may help you qualify for Social Security or increase the amount of your Social Security benefit. Special extra earnings credits are granted for periods of active duty or active duty for training. They are not granted for inactive duty training.
      For service in 1957 through 1977, you are credited with $300 in additional earnings for each calendar quarter in which you received active duty basic pay. For service in 1978 through 2001, for every $300 in active duty basic pay, you are credited with an additional $100 in earnings up to a maximum of $1,200 a year. For more information, visit our Retirement Planner page at http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/military.htm. Hope this helps!

  9. I am 62 years old and plan on applying for an early SS benefit due to an health issue. Plan on applying online 01 Nov 2016. When can I start receiving benefit.?

    • Thank you for your question Erlinda. Our system is set up to take applications three months in advance, you can apply for your retirement benefits online now. Remember that benefits are paid the month after they are due. So, for instance, if you want your benefits to begin with the month of November, you will receive your first benefit payment in December. If you need further assistance call our toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00am and 7:00pm. We hope this helps!

      • If I apply for early retirement at 62, will my benefits be reduced if i work less than 45 hours a week in a country that does not have an agreement with the US?

  10. SSA will deduct Medicare premium from my retirement check when I am 65 years old ? because I live in south america and Medicare is not good overseas and besides I do not need it. I am 64 years old. Do I have to decline medicare when I am 65 years old, or I do not have to worry about it? Because SSA will not deduct anything from my check since I am living overseas, am I correct?

    • Hi Guillermo. Generally, individuals already receiving Social Security benefits, and becoming eligible for Medicare, will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).
      You’re right, in most situations, Medicare won’t pay for health care or supplies you get outside the U.S. Also, Medicare Part B is optional. Beneficiaries may refuse the coverage and if they file a written notification before the coverage starts, we always consider this a timely refusal. Timely refusals do not incur premium charges. While we make every effort to notify beneficiaries living outside the United States of their eligibility to Medicare, we recommend that you contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate at least 3 months before your 65th birthday for further assistance. We hope this information helps!

      • “Generally, individuals already receiving Social Security benefits, and becoming eligible for Medicare, will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).”

        This is incorrect.
        Plan B (Medical Insurance) is not automatic enrollment. This is what I thought and when making a Plan B claim It was denied. On top of that I am being penalized
        For not being enrolled a 65.

        • You’re right John, if you already get Social Security benefits, we’ll automatically enroll you in Medicare Hospital Insurance (Part A) and Medical Insurance (Part B). However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. Also, if you or your spouse are actively working and you are covered under an employer’s group health insurance program, you can delay enrollment into Medicare Part B until you stop working or the health coverage is dropped. However, we suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.

  11. It is a shame such small COLA, or it any increase, while my COL will one day pass my benefits, and I will be forced to live in a cheaper country. Shame on our country!
    “You can’t get rich in politics unless you’re a crook.”
    — Harry S. Truman
    (1884-1972), 33rd US President

    “The measure of a man’s character is what he would do
    if he knew he never would be found out.”
    — Thomas Babington Macaulay
    (1800-1859)

    “No legacy is so rich as honesty.”
    — William Shakespeare
    (1564-1616) Playwright
    Source: All’s Well That Ends Well.

    Google: Judi Grace StoryCorps.

  12. I was in the Navy 20 yrs, retired. I am retiring next yr 2016 after 20 yrs as a law enforcement officer but they did not take out ssn there. Is it true that my ssn will be cut in half because my 2nd job did not take out ssn?

    • Good question, Richard. A pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies, such as police officers and some teachers) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your own Social Security benefit can be reduced based on the Windfall Elimination Provision. Read more here.

  13. “There are a number of people who choose to live their retirement years in places outside of the United States”, I will be one of them. It cost less to live in another country and people can be more understanding. I just wonder if other countries socialist security systems are going broke like ours?

    I am 45 years old, a mother of three older children and physically disabled ( I was born with cerebral palsy ). I’ve never collected one red cent of money from the Socialist Security System, even though I have applied several times and they find me disabled.

    Technically, I am an “adult disabled child” (please look this up, it is NOT SSI or SSDI) but have never been able to secure any benefits whatsoever from the Socialist Security system, even under that program because I got married to an “Able bodied person”. The Socialist Security system is too busy paying benefits to some people who scam the system and worrying about adult disabled children (who they pay benefits to off of a parents record) marrying an able bodied person. This gives them the justification to cut off benefits to the adult disabled child because the husband (in theory) can now support the disabled person. This theory works great, if your husband is rich and you have no need for money but what it actually does, is to force two adults (one disabled one able bodied person) to live off of one income. In the real world, the socialist security system is forcing adult disabled children to only marry other disabled persons (and NO able bodied persons) at the threat of loosing any and all benefits that they are entitled to.

    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!

  14. I am hoping human rights will help the United States to do right by Social Security and publish papa Tony – the Social Security Commissioner, or specially compensated author thereof, who does not rob the orphan like a Judeo-Christian unfamiliar with the Qu’ran, and has SSA’s accounts in order to tax the rich, end poverty by 2020 and pay for the child victims of the 1996-2000 AFDC-TANF cuts convicted of 10 million counts of deprivation of relief benefits by the Acting Commissioner’s 2014 Annual Report on the SSI Program. 16 to 24 million children are poor in the United States 22-33% of SSAs 77 million tonk children, as soon as 2017.

    As a single disability beneficiary and author of Hospitals & Asylums, working on a statistical and medical textbook on ‘Children’ to do my best for them regardless of my ability to pay, I am motivated to continue the career of I. King Jordan whose election as the first deaf president of the former Columbia Institution for the Deaf and Dumb resulted in the non-election of the only woman President of what is now called Gallaudet University. To assure you of my altruistic, non-discriminatory, and well-formulated intentions my stated priority as SSA Commissioner is to redress the runaway child poverty, that discriminates unequally against women, especially single mothers, who tend to be poorer, maybe only after the unpaid maternity leave, than single fathers.

    The Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) is the principal global intergovernmental body exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women. A functional commission of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), it was established by Council resolution 11(II) of 21 June 1946. The Convention the Nationality of Married Women of 1957 provides that neither the celebration nor the dissolution of marriage between one of its nationals and an alien, nor the change of nationality by the husband shall affect the nationality of the wife or leave her stateless, furthermore, the alien wife of one its nationals may acquire her husbands’s nationality as a matter of right. These special nationality privileges apply equally to husbands and wives under the equal protections clauses of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of 18 December 1979 created a Committee and as of 1 January 2008, responsibility has been transferred to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

    Bearing in mind the great contribution of women to the welfare of the family and to the development of society, so far not fully recognized, the social significance of maternity and the role of both parents in the family and in the upbringing of children, and aware that the role of women in procreation should not be a basis for discrimination but that the upbringing of children requires a sharing of responsibility between men and women and society as a whole. State parties promise under Article 2 (f) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women. Article 9 provides (1) States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality. They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality by the husband during shall automatically change the nationality of the wife render her stateless or force upon her the nationality of her husband. (2) State parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children. Article 11(1)(e) The right to social security, particularly in cases of unemployment, sickness, invalidity and old and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave; (2)(b) to introduce maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefits without loss of former employment, seniority of social allowances. Article 13 State parties shall take all appropriate measure to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life in order to ensure on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular (a) to family benefits.

    Convention on the Rights of the Child of 2 September 1990 Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding. Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity. Bearing in mind that, as indicated in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, “the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth”. Article 7(1) The child shall be registered immediately after birth and shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and. as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents. (2) States Parties shall ensure the implementation of these rights in accordance with their national law and their obligations under the relevant international instruments in this field, in particular where the child would otherwise be stateless. Article 8 (1) States Parties undertake to respect the right of the child to preserve his or her identity, including nationality, name and family relations as recognized by law without unlawful interference. (2) Where a child is illegally deprived of some or all of the elements of his or her identity, States Parties shall provide appropriate assistance and protection, with a view to re-establishing speedily his or her identity.

    Article 13 (1) The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child’s choice. Article 26 (1) States Parties shall recognize for every child the right to benefit from social security, including social insurance, and shall take the necessary measures to achieve the full realization of this right in accordance with their national law. (2) The benefits should, where appropriate, be granted, taking into account the resources and the circumstances of the child and persons having responsibility for the maintenance of the child, as well as any other consideration relevant to an application for benefits made by or on behalf of the child.

    The unanimous adoption, in June 1999, of International Labour Organization Convention No. 182 on the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, which prohibits, inter alia, forced or compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, led to the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict of 12 February 2002 whereby States Parties shall ensure that persons who have not attained the age of 18 years are not compulsorily recruited into their armed forces and members of the Armed Forces who have not attained the age of 18 do not take a direct part in hostilities. Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography of 18 January 2002. Article 1 States Parties shall prohibit (criminalize) the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography as provided for by the present Protocol. Article 2 For the purposes of the present Protocol: (a) Sale of children means any act or transaction whereby a child is transferred by any person or group of persons to another for remuneration or any other consideration; (b) Child prostitution means the use of a child in sexual activities for remuneration or any other form of consideration; (c) Child pornography means any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes.

    The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure of 14 April 2014 provides that States parties to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (hereinafter referred to as “the Convention”) recognize the rights set forth in it to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind, irrespective of the child’s or his or her parent’s or legal guardian’s race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national, ethnic or social origin, property, disability, birth or other status. The best interests of the child should be a primary consideration to be respected in pursuing remedies for violations of the rights of the child, Article 2 General principles guiding the functions of the Committee provide that in fulfilling the functions conferred on it by the present Protocol, the Committee shall be guided by the principle of the best interests of the child. It shall also have regard for the rights and views of the child, the views of the child being given due weight in accordance with the age and maturity of the child. Article 7  Admissibility explains the Committee shall consider a communication inadmissible when: (a) The communication is anonymous; (b) The communication is not in writing; or (f) The communication is manifestly ill-founded or not sufficiently substantiated.

    The most important demographic difference between 1984 and 1999 was the change in marital status among the total U.S. population. In 1990 the number of marriages ending in divorce stood at 50%. The number of TANF beneficiaries has declined dramatically from a high of nearly 14.2 million in 1993 to little less than 5 million in 2003 after the Personal Responsibility and World Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) of 1996 coerced families with children to work. People are waiting longer before marriage, the number of people who never marry has increased, and marriages are more likely to end in divorce. Today the divorce rate remains stable at around 40 percent of marriages. In 2003 there were 12.9 million children living in poverty, or 17.6% of the under-18 population. That was an increase of about 800,000 from 2002, when 16.7% of all children were in poverty. Of 18-to-64-year olds 20.5 million, 11.1% were poor and of people 65 and older 3.6 million, 10.1% were poor. In 2011 an estimated 1 in 4 US children, 21%, were growing up in poverty, the highest rate in the industrialized world. In Finland, the number is about 2.8%; Norway, 3.4%; Sweden, maybe 4.2%, Switzerland, 6.8%, Netherlands in second place at 9.8 percent. The reason for the high child poverty in the Netherlands is that there minimum wage discriminates against people under the age of 25 and must stop. The United States also has a problem with the minimum wage in that it is necessary to legislate an automatic 3% annual increase in minimum wage to prevent wages from falling behind inflation before they get laid off because the minimum wage hike is too expensive to employer when it finally comes. It is essential that Labor Department Unemployment Compensation (UC) pay contributing women for the three months of unpaid maternity leave they are entitled to under the Family and Medical Leave Act of February 5, 1993 (PL-303-3) to fulfill ILO Holidays with Pay Convention (Convention 132) of 1970; Workers with Family Responsibilities (Convention 156) of 1981, and Maternity Protection (Convention 183) of 2000.

    In normal pregnancy there are few restrictions concerning work. The traditional time designated for maternity leave is approximately 1 month before the expected date of delivery and extending until 6 weeks after birth. The United States is not party to the International Labor Organization (ILO) Maternity Protection (Convention 183) of 2000. The Family and Medical Leave Act of February 5, 1993 (PL-303-3) is considered substandard and the U.S. provides only 12 weeks of unpaid leave to approximately half of mothers in the U.S. and nothing for the remainder. 45 countries ensure that fathers either receive paid paternity leave or have a right to paid parental leave. The United States guarantees fathers neither paid paternity nor paid parental leave. At least 96 countries around the world in all geographic regions and at all economic levels mandate paid annual leave. The U.S. does not require employers to provide paid annual leave. At least 37 countries have policies guaranteeing parents some type of paid leave specifically for when their children are ill. Of these countries, two-thirds guarantee more than a week of paid leave, and more than one-third guarantee 11 or more days. 139 countries provide paid leave for short- or long-term illnesses, with 117 providing a week or more annually. The U.S. provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious illnesses through the FMLA. The following ILO Conventions await ratification by the United States a. three weeks annually of Holidays with Pay Convention (Convention 132) of 1970; allowing for b.Workers with Family Responsibilities (Convention 156) of 1981; and c. 14 weeks of unemployment compensation or social security paid Maternity Protection (Convention 183) of 2000.

    The United States lags dramatically behind all high-income countries, as well as many middle- and low-income countries when it comes to public policies designed to guarantee adequate working conditions for families. One hundred sixty-three countries around the world guarantee paid leave to women after childbirth; the United States does not. Forty-five countries ensure that fathers either receives paid paternity leave or paid parental leave; the United States does not. Seventy-six countries protect workingwomen’s right to breastfeed at work; the United States offers no such protection. Ninety-six countries offer paid annual leave; the United States does not require employers to provide any paid annual leave. One hundred thirty-nine countries provide paid leave for short or long-term illnesses; the United States has no national policy regarding sick leave. The list of working conditions relevant to families where the United States lags behind goes on and includes, among others, maximum hour legislation, legislation guaranteeing minimum days of rest, and leave for major family events.  Where this comprehensive global data are available, the United States also appears to lag significantly behind in services available to children in working families. The United States ranks 39 in available data on early childhood education enrollment and 91 in student-to-staff ratios. The school year in the United States is shorter than that of 54 other countries around the world. While the United States has high rates of 0- to 3-year-olds in childcare, this is mainly due to families paying privately for care that is necessary in the absence of paid parental leave, not to either publicly-provided care or to parents choosing infant and toddler care when parental leave is available.
     
    The only other industrialized country, which does not have paid maternity or parental leave for women, Australia, guarantees a full year of unpaid leave to all women in the country. In contrast, the Family and Medical Leave Act of February 5, 1993 (PL-303-3) in the U.S. provides only 12 weeks of unpaid leave to approximately half of mothers in the U.S. and nothing for the remainder.  45 countries ensure that fathers either receive paid paternity leave or have a right to paid parental leave. The United States guarantees fathers neither paid paternity nor paid parental leave.  At least 76 countries protect working women’s right to breastfeed; the U.S. does not, in spite of the fact that breastfeeding has been shown to reduce infant mortality several-fold. In fact, nearly two-thirds of these countries protect breastfeeding for 15 months or longer. Nearly nine out of ten protect this right for at least a year. At least 96 countries around the world in all geographic regions and at all economic levels mandate paid annual leave. The U.S. does not require employers to provide paid annual leave. At least 37 countries have policies guaranteeing parents some type of paid leave specifically for when their children are ill. Of these countries, two-thirds guarantee more than a week of paid leave, and more than one-third guarantee 11 or more days.  139 countries provide paid leave for short- or long-term illnesses, with 117 providing a week or more annually. The U.S. provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for serious illnesses through the FMLA.  Pregnant women are expected to pay the doctor for an estimated twenty pre-natal care visits plus expensive hospital births.  This is very expensive and many poor women do without leading to great disparities in health outcomes between races and the rich and poor. However women in every state can get help to pay for medical care during their pregnancies, that is a Medicaid covered expense for people regardless of their income. This prenatal care can help to have a healthy baby. Every state in the United States has a program to help. Programs give medical care, information, advice and other services important for a healthy pregnancy. To find out about the state program call 1-800-311-BABY (1-800-311-2229)

    The Maternity Leave Act, Title III of the Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 provides in Sec. 14 Unemployment Compensation for 14 weeks of Maternity Leave. To prioritize the payment of the families of 16-24 million poor children SSI benefits with new OASDI revenues from taxing the rich in 2017.  10 million Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) benefits were cut between 1996 and 2000. During this time period child poverty increased from the average non-age discriminatory rate of about 15% in 1996 to 21-28% in 2016 while poverty among working age adults decreased to 10% and in elders 9%. Child SSI is the priority in 2017. It is necessary to understand that about 4 million children are born annually in the United States and that for all legal billing purposes the obstetric bill must not exceed the Medicaid rate of about $435 for an uncomplicated delivery. The Medical and Family Leave Act does not insure unemployment compensation (UC) contributing mothers for the 14 weeks of Maternity Leave under ILO Convention No. 183 (2000). To competently end child poverty with the new OASDI tax UC contributors shall be insured for 14 weeks of paid maternity leave.

    To amend Demonstration Projects to ‘Maternity leave’ Section 305 of the Social Security Act 42USC§505.

    (a) To expedite the reemployment of individuals who have established a benefit year to claim unemployment compensation under the State law the Secretary of Labor shall fulfill the 14 months of paid leave authorized for Maternity Leave by International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention No. 183 (2000).
     
    (1) The Family and Medical Leave Act shall be repealed except in that workers’s positions who have served their benefit year, shall continue to be entitled to up to twelve weeks of (unpaid) sick leave, 14 weeks of maternity leave and 24 weeks to care for an injured armed service-member.
     
    (2) Employers shall provide at least 3 weeks of paid leave annually to uphold the Holiday with Pay ILO Convention No. 132 (1970).
     
    (b) On production of a medical certificate, stating the presumed date of childbirth, a woman shall be entitled to a period of maternity leave of not less than 14 weeks. Cash benefits shall be provided at a level which ensures that the woman can maintain herself and her child in proper conditions of health and with a suitable standard of living.
     
    (1) Where a woman does not meet the conditions to qualify for cash benefits under national laws and regulations or in any other manner consistent with national practice, she shall be entitled to adequate benefits out of social assistance funds, subject to the means test required for eligibility for such assistance, from the Supplemental Security Income Program for the Aged, Blind and Disabled under Sec. 1611 of Title XVI of the Social Security Act 42USC§1382.
     
    (2) Medical benefits shall be provided for the woman and her child. Medical benefits shall include prenatal, childbirth and postnatal care, as well as hospitalization care when necessary.

    Social Security Amendments of January 1, 2016 http://www.title24uscode.org/ss1.htm

  15. My spouse passed away 8 years ago, he collected his benefit when he was 66 but only for 4 months then he died, now I’m 61 years old and want to collect survivor benefit, I know I would be qualified for 76.3 of his benefit but I was wonder how is the benefit going to calculate. it’s base on his 70 or 66. In his case could we said he had volunteer suspend his benefit after 4 months. The original benefit is $1,772

  16. I married and moved to Brazil in 1999 and soon after that I suffered complications due to diabetes including heart surgery and blindness (legally blind). I keep myself busy doing work over the internet, but we rely on my wife’s retirement to get by. I have never filed for disability and have not had an income statement for many years. the title of this page is “Retiring Overseas? What You Need to Know About Getting Benefits Abroad”. I went and followed the online tool. It asked if i am currently getting benefits, I checked no, the survey finished and did not answer the question! I will be 62 in March.

  17. I retired when i was 62 years old (early retirement age), I received 25 % less that i was suppossed to receive, I am 64 years old know , I want to know if my pension will increase by 25 % when i am 66 years old(full retirement age) or it will remain the same and it will only increase with the cola?

    • Hello Guillermo. The amount of benefits you receive is established at the time you applied for retirement benefits. It is based on the amount of your average lifetime earnings and your age at the time you applied. Reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits an individual may qualify for, once they opt to start benefits at age 62 or at any time prior to their full retirement age. Your benefit amount will likely remain the same, except for yearly Cost Of Living Adjustments (COLA) increases.

  18. I retired when i was 62 years old, I want to know what will it happen if i get disable living overseas, can i apply for disability or since i am receiving my regular pension from SSA i will not be able to apply for disability?

    • Hi Guillermo. You can apply for Disability Benefits before you reach your full retirement age. Social Security pays only for total disability. We pay disability benefits to people under their full retirement age who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or end in death. We can continue paying your retirement benefits while we consider your application for disability, and wait for a medical decision. For assistance related to your Social Security benefits, while living abroad, please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate.

  19. I am receiving my pension from SSA in South America Lima Peru, SSA send me the money trough the BANK OF NEW YOR MELLON , that bank send the money to INTERBANK (PERUVIAN BANK) they have an agreement and the peruvian bank charge me $ 6 but since October 2016, the charge is $ 10, They say that this is an agreement between both banks, is this true? How can receive my pension with less charge? my pension is very low and every dollar counts. There is another way to avoid those charges living overseas?

  20. What can I buy with the $4.78 extra COLA raise I will get beginning in 2017? What a joke on us or is it an April Fools Joke?

    • 1 gallon of milk or a dozen eggs in California. sad state of affairs with all the increases in rent, food, property tax, etc. it leaves one wondering how they can spend all the money on people that never worked or contributed to our society but not the people that worked so hard to build our country and we never complained when it was put there for all Americans, I said Americans!!!!!!

  21. My husband and I are retired and thinking of moving out of the state of California to another state. We both are collecting social security after working over 30 years in California. Will we be able to transfer or receive social security benefits in another state and will there be a reduction in benefit amount?

    Thanks

    • Thank you for your question Victoria. Your Social Security retirement benefit is a federal administered program and is transferable to other states. Your benefit amount will not change if you move to another state. You can create a my Social Security account to manage your benefits and to change your address and direct deposit information online. we hope this helps!

  22. I retired in 2013 from the federal government with plenty of SSA credits then eventually moving to the Philippines in 2014.

    SSA has an outstanding overseas department processing/handling American citizens applications and answers any question related to marriage and/or having children. Moreover there’s a local SSA office here that makes life so much easier when it pertains to issues concerning SSA.

    I’m very happy with the service I’ve received thus far from SSA. Monthly benefits right on time.

    Thank you SSA for the excellent service for Americans living abroad.

    • Thanks for your feedback, Donald. Your thoughts are important to us and we’re pleased when feedback is positive. We try hard to provide the best possible service to our customers and your satisfaction is our reward.

  23. I am retired since June 2013 after the death of my husband, and moved to India to be with my family. I was emotionally very disturb then. I am 62 years now, still live in India with the help of my family. I wish to take my SS benefit at 65. In US, I use my daughters address for any correspondence as I cannot afford.
    Please guide me as to what should I do to get SS benefit at age 65. I am eligible for SS and Medicare.

    • I have another question, can I claim my SS benefit and still live in India? Do I have to apply for Medicare B plan? How much do they take as premium, if enrolled.

      At 62 if I take SS , it’s 25% less. Will it go up like 93% at age 65?

      Do you need overseas address or US address for correspond.

      • Hi Jessy. Yes, retirees who are U.S. citizens are entitled to continue receiving benefits for as long as they live outside the United States. However, citizens of other countries who receive Social Security may have some restrictions. The earliest age you can apply for reduced retirement benefits is 62. If a person begins to receive benefits at age 62 or prior to their full retirement age, their benefits are reduced. The reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits an individual may qualify for once they opt to start benefits at age 62 or at any time prior to their full retirement age. Please keep in mind that while Social Security benefits are available to retirees in other countries, Medicare is not. Beneficiaries can only take advantage of Medicare Part B within the United States. All beneficiaries who elect to enroll in Medicare Part B must pay a premium, regardless of where they live. For any assistance related to your Social Security benefits, please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  24. Scenario: Person takes early retirement at age 62yo, then files for SS Disbility. SS Disability is awarded with an onset date of DOB 64yo.

    Question: At full retirement age will the retirement benefits be offset due to the prior early retirement benefits?

    • Hi Suzanne. Any “offset” or reduction will occur at the time disability benefits are established. Disability payments are established at the highest rate possible, meaning the individual will get the highest monthly benefit amount he or she is allowed to receive. When individuals attain their full retirement age, we will automatically convert their disability benefits to retirement benefits, the benefit amount remains the same. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  25. Estoy retirada. En temprana edad 62 años..sigo trabajando un partime..y hago mis taxes todos los años ademas pago una multa por el seguro obligatorio de Obama…con la nueva gobernacion. Seguira siendo obligado el seguro medico…me haran el descuento directo a mi compensascion ssa?

  26. I plan on applying for social security payments this coming May 2017 at age 67. I left the US over 10 years ago and have been living overseas. Can I apply for ss payments in the Dominican Republic to be deposited into my Dominican bank account?

  27. I am really stuck. Please help! A couple of months ago I applied online for my ss retirement benefits. Unfortunately I answered the question about disability with a “yes”. I found myself in the disability section applying for disability benefits. I wrote in the comments section that I had made a mistake and just wanted my retirement.
    I was block from re-entering the site.
    I called the Embassy in Paris (I now live in France) and was told to call ss in the US. I tried. The first time, I was told to just type in my ss number. That didn’t work. Then I was told to contact the Consulate in Marseille. I left 4 messages on the phone at the Consulate but heard nothing back.
    Through a personal contact, the head of the Consulate Monique Quesada very kindly said she would refer my problem to the American Citizen Service. I’ve no contact and it’s been a month now. I tried emailing citizenformarseille@state.gov but the address doesn’t work. I left 2 more message last week on the phone at the Consulate but have has no reply. Help!!! I really don’t know what to do.

      • Many, many thanks for your help Ray. What a great relief it’s been to ask for help and actually get it! I don’t know what I would have done without your intervention. Thanks again. – Michele

  28. I appreciate the use of this blog. Lots of interesting posts and nice to get a response to queries.

    I live overseas and have for many years. I am a recipient of SSA benefits as well as my dependent children. My wife is their Payee Representative. I am also federal government annuitant under the Civil Service Retirement System (NOT FERS).

    When my SSA benefits were determined, I received a reduced amount because I was a federal annuitant. I think it was referred to an offset.

    I am assembling some info for my wife about how to report my death and if my children are still eligible (age) to make a claim for them. We know to use the US Embassy to file the claim.

    My wife is not eligible to receive a survivor benefit as she is not a US citizen and will remain living overseas. That is our understanding.

    However, my question is….will the survivor benefit for the children also have an “offset”?

    • Thank you for your question Mike. Based on the information you provided, it appears that the reduction (or offset) to your Social Security benefits are based on the Windfall Elimination Provision(WEP). The WEP may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced when you received a pension based on work that was/is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies). However, the impact of WEP does not continue after your death. Upon notification of the worker’s death, we do a re-computation of benefits without applying the WEP effect, which may result in a higher benefits for the surviving (eligible) children. Also, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page to learn more on how non-citizens living outside the United States could receive Social Security benefits. We hope this information helps!

  29. Can you comment on why the COLA are applied as a percentage of each recipient’s individual benefit and based on the average recipient’s benefit. This procedure provides less in actual dollars to those on the lower end of the scale and more to those on the upper end, thus increasing the benefit gap between them. Is not the theory behind COLAs that if the price of a gallon of milk goes from $3.00 a gallon to $3.30 then the COLA is intended to cover that increase? Why then do some beneficiaries get as much as a three times greater amount than others…do they pay more for than milk than those at lower benefit levels? I think not.

    Therefore, it seems logical, reasonable and fair that the COLA increases ought to be calculated as a percentage of the average benefit and every beneficiary paid that calculated dollar amount. Again, who should some beneficiaries receive an increase of, for example, $30/month while others receive, $90 to pay for that same gallon of milk?

  30. I have a friend who was permanent resident of usa for more of 10 years and worked all those years here, but he returned to Colombia and lost his status of permanent resident. Right now, he has the age to claim his retirement. Does he can claim it? and how can he claim it? Can he give me an authorization to process it for him?

    • Thank you for your question Margarita. 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. In addition, you friend will have to make direct contact with the U.S. Embassy in Colombia, for further assistance. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist individuals living abroad. We hope this information helps.

  31. Hi, My husband is 64yo this year. He became disabled in 2011 and is still collecting SSD. We have been talking about a move out of the US, Mexico etc, or to US owned locations, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands etc. What will happen to his SSD if we move and no longer have a US address. We could not get by without his check and don’t want to make bad move by relocating and loosing his benefits. Thank You

  32. My husband and I are receiving social security benefits as we are in our late 60’s. We have Medicare which is deducted from our checks. If we move to costa Rica to live would we be able to stop paying for Medicare since we could no longer use it?

    • Hi Roseann. Medicare benefits are generally available, only for medical services provided in the United States. However, since this is a serious decision, our policy requires a personal interview be conducted with everyone who wants to terminate their Medicare Part B benefits. Representatives at your local Social Security office will help you complete the required Form CMS-1763, “Request for Termination of Premium Hospital and /or Supplementary Medical Insurance”, but we need to speak to you personally before we terminate your Medicare benefits to be sure that you fully understand the consequences of doing so. We do not offer Form CMS-1763 online. For further assistance or to make an appointment, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Also, see our publication “Social Security — Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”.
      Thanks!

  33. I am living France. I have been trying without success to log on to my SS account for over a year. The web-site will not recognize my SS # or birthdate. I have tried to call SS in the States and they pass me off to numerous operators none of whom are helpful.

    I would like to update my personal information.

    I would appreciate any advise you might have.

    Thank you,

    Stephen K.

    • Hi Stephen. The “my Social Security” authentication system requires address verification as one of the essential criteria for creating or accessing 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. For assistance related to your Social Security benefits, please contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more contact information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

  34. Hi
    I worked in the states 11 years and eligible for ss benefits according to my record.Now ı am living in Turkey.I am also US citizen. Would you please let me know what is the easiest way to transfer the ssi to my account in Turkey.What kind of information ı have to give to ss Office to transfer Money to my account in Turkey..I will be in the states in a month for social security retirement.
    Thanks
    Thanks.

  35. My mother is currently living in California. She worked in the US and Guam and is planning to Retire in the Philippines. Will her SSI benefits continue if she permenantly lives outside the U.S., and does she have to return to the U.S. at all to keep her benefits active?

    • Thanks for your question. Your mother’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits may be affected if she remains outside of the country for more than 30 straight days. For more information about what to report when you are receiving SSI, please visit: http://go.usa.gov/BBqT. We hope this helps!

  36. I plan to try a 6 month trial living in Puerto Vallarta Mexico, am on a widows pension. Plan to use a relative In the states, am getting conflicting answers on can I live and retire full time in PV and still get my benefits? TIA

    • Thank you for your question Patricia. First, you can use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to find out if you can continue to receive your Social Security payments if you are outside the United States. Then, read our publication “Your Payments While You are Outside the United States”. For more guidance on this matter, we recommend that you call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this information helps!

  37. I also have found email contact with SSA from abroad very difficult. It used to be impossible to even reach the SSA.gov website. That has been remedied, but there are still lots of obstacles. In the meantime, the overseas benefits units seem to be stretched thin. I cannot help but wonder if overseas Americans just are not a priority.

  38. I am a US 64 year old citizen living in Canada currently collecting Social Security. My question is whether my Canadian spouse who became a spouse after I moved to Canada and never lived with me in the US will be entitled to any Social Security benefits of any kind in the future for instance when she turns 62 or upon my death.

  39. I am 56. I have been working last 26years.
    If I have to move other country (Asia) for my spouse’s job, how/when and where can I apply my social security benefit?
    I am thinking about early retirement as of 62.

  40. Hi,I’m from Sweden so apologise for my bad English.
    My friend is a citizen of USA and she is in prison.She will get paroled when she turns 65.She will do 25
    years in prison and she have gave birth to 4 children.
    As you can se,she will not have a lot of work experiense to talk about.And the plan is for her to move to Sweden when she get paroled.Will she get any social security benefit?If any,how much?
    There is more but this would help us alot to know.

  41. My parents were told by a relative that if they have property in Mexico they would not qualify for the full benefit. They plan to reside half of the year in Mexico and half of the year in the US. Will this affect their eligibility for retirement benefits?

    • Thank you for your question Sonia. The good news is that your parents may still be eligible to receive their Social Security benefits while living abroad. However, all Social Security beneficiaries living outside the U.S. are required to report their change of address, even if we are sending their payments to a bank or other financial institution. Our publication “Social Security — Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States” explains how being outside the United States may affect your Social Security payments. If you are a U.S. citizen, you may continue to receive payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible for payment and you are in a country where we can send payments. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you must meet one of the conditions for payment described in this publication. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact their local U.S. embassy or consulate 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. We hope this information helps!

  42. I recently got married to a Filipino and I would like to get dual citizenship but live full time In Philippines.. can my monthly ss check be direct deposited in a bank there? And if so is there a fee charged by us government??

  43. Hi. I am a USA citizen and have recently turned 61 and plan to retire at 62 with 70% of my SS. How do I fine out what will be the amount of money I will get monthly? I live in the EU in Finland and have made very little money here but it might help my retirement.

    If I one day return to USA how do I get health insurance?

  44. Hi and thank you for this great blog. I am a US citizen living in Tunisia. I worked there for 30 years and my employer was filing in FICA. I am receiving my retirement in Tunisia and I am eligible for Tunisian retirement benefits too. Would receiving Tunisian retirement payments affect my US SS payments in an way?
    Thank you

    • Thank you for contacting us Lili. The Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) can affect how we calculate your retirement or disability benefit. If you work for an employer who doesn’t withhold Social Security taxes from your salary, such as a government agency or an employer in another country, any retirement or disability pension you get from that work can reduce your Social Security benefits. Please visit our Windfall Elimination Provision and Foreign Pensions web page for more information.
      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. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  45. I was in USA for 8 years (1998-2006) and legally worked and contributed social security. Now I moved to Canada and I am Canadian Citizen. Can I still receive statement or benefits when I am retired? Or Can I get refund my contribution I made when I was in USA. Please help. Thanks.

    • An agreement between the United States and Canada improves Social Security protection for people who work or have worked in both countries. For more important information on this topic, click here. Thanks!

  46. I spent most of my retirement time (9 months/year) overseas between Europe and Asia.
    I am paying my Plan B.
    from 2018 I will be spending my retirement overseas.
    the SS does not covers me while overseas, I would like to cancel my part B payment without being penalized.
    Can I stop my monthly premium for my part B?

  47. if you obtain citizenship of another country while maintaining your US citizenship do you continue to receive your social security benefits

    • Hello Keith, for income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040.

  48. Hell there, I have submitted my application form for a retirement benefit from POLAND, form SSA 2490 BK back in December 2017 at the SSA Denver Office. I would like to track the status of my clam, as of now I do not know anything about the whereabouts or progress if any.
    PLEASE HELP

  49. I have decided to move to Barcelona Spain. I live in Wisconsin and my health is suffering. I have been a school teacher for 30 years and substituted for 15 more. Wil I be able to get my SS and teachers pension. What percentage will I have to pay?

  50. I visited the San Francisco Chinatown SSA. At that time I talked with a counselor and was advised to come back this year, (I will be 64 on 10/18/2018). I want to start my SS benefits and Medicare when I am 65. She advised I start my SS benefits and Medicare when I come back. Presently, planning to travel to SF to activate as directed. When is the best time to do so.
    I live in Tokyo and want plan effectively and efficiently.
    Respectfully,
    Johnscott Seim
    83+80-3398-5419
    3-11-3-602, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 151-0053 Japan
    ps. I filled out the web application
    73411264

  51. I need my 2018 Benefit Statement for me . Please mail to me. Thank you. You can also email me at following address:

  52. I am trying to complete my online retirement benefits application. I get to a certain point and I get that my session has timed out. Please tell me how to get back into the application and complete. I have a reengry number and have done that but am getting to a page where it tells me I’ve timed whenever I had just complete a page?

    • We’re sorry for the inconveniences, Linda. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and one of our agents will assist you. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally you will have a shorter wait time when you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  53. What about Medicare? I intend to live outside of USA, do I have any benefit even if I live out of the country? My intentions is to live in Dominican Republic. Any idea?

    • Hello Cesar. In general, Medicare is not available outside the United States.
      Keep in mind that Social Security beneficiaries attaining age 65 are automatically enrolled for Medicare Part A & B. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you do have the option of turning it down. However, the premium for Medicare Part B is increased 10 percent for each full 12 months during which an individual could have been, but was not, enrolled in Medicare Part B. Visit http://www.Medicare.gov for more information.
      Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  54. To whom it may concern,

    I want to combine my work credits in Italy to my credits in the US. What is the procedure?
    Thank you

  55. Hi. My parents are now living in a foreign country and have decided to retire there. How do they go about changing the address on file with SS to the foreign address without going back to the USA? Could they send in a letter stating the change? Would they have to show up at the nearest SS office?

  56. We live in India n get SS benefits and every yr. in May /June we receive Questionnaire, which we hv to fill up n send back within 60 days. This yr. we hv not recd. the Questionnaire. I called the US embassy in New Delhi. I was told they do not deal with SS benefits any more. I also emailed to Manila office but not recd. any answer. pl guide me who should i contact n how can get the contact email id.

  57. Vacationing to UK next month. 82 years old. If I have a medical emergency, will medicare cover medical help in U.K. ?

  58. I have a client who is a Legal Permanent Resident from Canada. She is receiving SSDI income; if she moves back to Canada, what would happen to her benefits?

    • Hi Mary Lou, thanks for your question. If your client does move, they are required to report their change of address to Social Security, even if we are sending their payments to a bank or other financial institution.

      Our publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”, explains how being outside the United States may affect Social Security payments.
      When someone isn’t a U.S. citizen, they must meet one of the conditions for payment described in this publication.

      You may want to suggest our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to your client so they can see if their benefits will continue indefinitely, stop after six consecutive months or if certain country specific restrictions apply.

      We also recommend that individuals planning to leave the United States visit our Office of International Operations home page, which provides additional information for our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  59. Do i have to pay taxes in Spain from my Social Secuity and from my retirement from the state of VA? i was a teacher in Chesterfield Co for 28 yeats.
    My mother needs me and I am going to live there more than 6 months.

    • Hi Aurora, thanks for your question. We cannot answer your question regarding Spain’s taxation policies. However, if you do move, you are required to report your change of address to Social Security, even if we are sending your payments to a bank or other financial institution.

      Our publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”, explains how being outside the United States may affect your Social Security payments.

      If you are a U.S. citizen, you may continue to receive payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible for payment and you are in a country where we can send payments. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you must meet one of the conditions for payment described in this publication.

      You may use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to see if your benefits will continue indefinitely, stop after six consecutive months or if certain country specific restrictions apply.

      We also recommend that individuals planning to leave the United States visit our Office of International Operations home page, which provides additional information for our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  60. I am a US citizen living in Australia and receiving SSI benefits. My spouse, an Australian, was receiving SSI survivors benefits. We just received a letter stating that SSA cannot pay her any longer as she does not live in the US! My question is why after almost 2 years has SSA come to this decision?
    My wife’s name is:
    Christine Udy
    SSN# *** – ** – ***

  61. I am getting impatient and even angry. I submitted to Social Security a Request For Reconsideration form SSA-561-US in May of 2018. I have never received a reply. I wanted to officially cancel my request for Medicare Part B, as I continue working at my own company and have full medical coverage for about two more years. Thereafter, I will want Part B. I am being billed for it but have not paid the invoice as I do not need the service. Meanwhile, the Part B has been suspended, but I am concerned that I will have trouble later when i actually need it. I have called 4 times to follow up, and was told the first three times to wait until the review panel gets back to me. The last time I was told I should download form CMS 1763 and say I wish to discontinue the service. I went on line and now find that form CMS 1763 deals with obtaining Social Security or Medicare benefits while living overseas. This is outrageous. Living overseas (or not) hasd nothing to do with my problem. I am disappointed with the assistance provided for my case. Please get someone competent and willing to help assigned to my case. Thank you.

    • We apologize for any inconvenience, Cliff. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  62. My Mother passed, shes overseas I’m the youngest son living in the United States. My older brother lived with Mom, but due to his pasted and the way he is, i do not believe he does not have intentions of notifying Social Security he does not have any source of income and neither does he have any retirement. So I’m taking upon myself to find out what to do since Mom pasted October 1st I don’t want anything to come back and bite me in the a__s excuse my french.Please notify me ASAP thank you.

  63. Hi there. My father is a permanent resident and has been working in the US for approx 20 years. Does he qualified for retirement benefits even if not a citizen? Please let me know. Thank you.

    • Hello Joseane. In order to qualify for almost any type of Social Security benefits, including Medicare, a person generally needs 40 credits, or at least 10 years of work, paying Social Security taxes.
      Please see our web page “Benefits for Noncitizens” for information on this topic. Thanks!

  64. My mother is currently receiving social security benefit as a survivor spouse by direct deposit in her bank account in New Jersey. She is now overseas in Alexandria Egypt. The question is, what is the procedure to have her benefits deposited directly to her bank account in Alexandria Egypt.

    • Hello Mohamed. See our publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”. It explains how being outside the United States may affect your Social Security payments. If your mother is a U.S. citizen, she may continue to receive payments outside the United States as long as she is eligible for payment, and she is in a country where we can send payment.
      You may use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to see if your benefits will continue indefinitely, stop after six consecutive months or if certain country specific restrictions apply.
      We hope this information helps!

    • Hi George, thanks for your question. If you move, you are required to report your change of address to Social Security, even if we are sending your payments to a bank or other financial institution.

      Our publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”, explains how being outside the United States may affect your Social Security payments.

      If you are a U.S. citizen, you may continue to receive payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible for payment and you are in a country where we can send payments. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you must meet one of the conditions for payment described in this publication.

      You may use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to see if your benefits will continue indefinitely, stop after six consecutive months or if certain country specific restrictions apply.

      We also recommend that individuals planning to leave the United States visit our Office of International Operations home page, which provides additional information for our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  65. I want to know how to access my SS account from the Republic of Panama. I already have an account but I moved to Panama. My phone number changed, and the system does not accept the new number from Panama.

    • Hi Oderay. If you move, you are required to report your change of address to Social Security, even if we are sending your payments to a bank or other financial institution. Our publication, “Your Payments While You Are Outside the United States”, explains how being outside the United States may affect your Social Security payments.

      If you are a U.S. citizen, you may continue to receive payments outside the United States as long as you are eligible for payment and you are in a country where we can send payments. If you aren’t a U.S. citizen, you must meet one of the conditions for payment described in this publication.

      You may use our Payments Abroad Screening Tool to see if your benefits will continue indefinitely, stop after six consecutive months or if certain country specific restrictions apply.

      To create and access your my Social Security account, you must have a valid email address and a U.S. mailing address.

  66. I am currently receiving SSA benefits. I am going to be living in Ecuador and am marrying an Ecuadorian national (a non US resident). If I die, will she be eligible to receive my SSA benefits after the age of 62 while living in Ecuador? If so, do I need to be receiving my benefits in Ecuador at the time? Please let me know of my options and what we need to do to allow this to happen. Thank you.

  67. You provide an 800 phone number. People who live overseas can’t dial that. Writing to you by snail mail is way too slow and unreliable. What phone number or email can we use to communicate?

    • Hi Lucinda. Thanks for your question. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or 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. If you are living outside the United States, you can contact your nearest Federal Benefits Unit for assistance.

  68. February 6, 2019
    Chorzow, POLAND
    Dear SSA,
    I am a US citizen born in Chicago in March 1949 and am living in Poland. I have been receiving Social Security Retirement benefits since the age of 62, without a hitch, until being mailed a notice from SSA last week, informing me that my retirement benefits have been stopped because I did not return the form “Report to United States Social Security Administration”. What do I do now? Social Security benefits are my sole source of income abroad. Please tell me the form number and I will try to get it online and submit it without delay for your evaluation.
    Thank you for your attention and consideration in this matter.
    Respectfully,
    Henry Joseph Shelonzek, Jr.

  69. I’m a retired American citizen living overseas with my wife who is also an American citizen but has duel citizenship with her native country.
    Are we required to have or keep an American postal address since our SS and Pension are automatically deposited by our international bank?

  70. how do we apply on line without an American address for Social Security Benefits now that we live in Canada but planning to go back or do you have a phone number that works from here we would pay for the call thank you

    • Hi Gilles, thank you for your question. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or 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.

      Even though you are unable to create a my Social Security account, you may still file your application online. You can apply online for retirement benefits if you:
      •are at least 61 years and 9 months old;
      •are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
      •have not already applied for retirement benefits; and
      •want your benefits to start no more than 4 months in the future. (We cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than 4 months in advance.)

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit or U.S. embassy in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. You can also use the Canadian Service Area Directory to determine which Resident Office is near you.

    • Hi Miriam, thank you for your question. At this time you must have a U. S. mailing address to create or 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.

      Even though you are unable to create a my Social Security account, you may still file your application online. You can apply online for retirement benefits if you:
      •are at least 61 years and 9 months old;
      •are not currently receiving benefits on your own Social Security record;
      •have not already applied for retirement benefits; and
      •want your benefits to start no more than 4 months in the future. (We cannot process your application if you apply for benefits more than 4 months in advance.)

      We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the nearest Federal Benefit Unit or U.S. Embassy in the area for any assistance related to Social Security programs and benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad.

  71. Curious if this blog is still monitored and questions responded to?? No entries for months. Thought I might check before asking……..
    Thanks!

    • Good question, Steve! You can ask general questions on any of our social media pages, our website (www.socialsecurity.gov/agency/contact/), or by calling us directly. Because of privacy and security concerns, we cannot answer questions about your claim for benefits through this venue. If your inquiry concerns your claim for benefits or a complex issue, please call 1-800-772-1213. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you later in the day. We hope this helps.

  72. I need to talk to a Social Security person. I live in British Columbia, Canada. The 1-800-772-1213 does not work in my area. What can I do? The online my account is not an option.

  73. I am retired and receiving my pension in the US. currently because my pension is only $1250 I received the SNAP benefit. I am not healthy . My family ( wife and children, grandchld) has been living in Canada since 30 years now. I want to live in Canada with them.

    I want to know if I can still receive my SNAP benefit as an income added to my pension to help live pay my expenses and buy food. I am aware that there is no outlet in Canada that accepts the EBT card BUT my question this benefit helps my with food cost.

    Can you tell me if it is possble that they can add the amount that I receive for this benefit to my PENSION amount.

    Thanks for your answer

  74. Dear SS staff,
    I live in Mexico and do not have a US address. I am 65 and just received my official Medicare card at my address in Mexico. I would like to open an account online. How can I sign up with myaccount.socialsecurity.gov? When I try to sign up they require a US address which at this moment I am not able to provide. Is there a way for me to sign up? Thank you for any information that I can receive from you for signing up.

    • Thank you for your question, David. 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. We recommend that individuals living outside the United States contact the local Federal Benefits Unit for any assistance related to Social Security benefits. Also, our Office of International Operations web page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this information helps!

  75. Hi, I am 72, receiving SS benefits and retired overseas. I have been married to a wonderful filipina lady for over seven years now. She is not a US citizen and does not have a SS number. Is she or will she be eligible to receive a survivor benefit if I die?

    • Hi, Pat. Thanks for your question. In certain cases, noncitizens can receive Social Security benefits. But, in order for an individual to receive benefits, we must have evidence of their lawful presence. That means before we can pay out benefits for any given month, we must have evidence that the individual was lawfully present in the United States, during that month. In most cases, we stop payments to noncitizens after they are outside the United States for six calendar months in a row. To learn more, visit here. We hope this helps.

  76. Hello. I’m posting a comment here to ask a question about how applications for Social Security Retirement Benefits are handled for people who are living abroad when they apply. I live in the Philippines and turned 62 in August of 2019. I applied for benefits online using the SSA web site. I received a notice my request had been referred to the SSA office at the US embassy in Manila. A month later I received a phone call from them and was asked to answer many questions while being recorded. At the end of our conversation, the representative told me that benefits take 7 months or longer to get approved and started. I was a little surprised since the web site says up to 6 weeks to start after you apply/become eligible. My bank is a US bank and I do have an FPO address. My question is, why does it take so long for an application to be processed for someone living abroad?

  77. What are requirements for non-USA citizen widow to receive survivor SS benefits? Wife, now 64, just married, but has been caring for U.S. citizen, 78, for five years on retirement visa in Thailand. U.S. citizen husband wheelchair bound, but fully alert and functional, except walking. I receive full benefits due me from 45+ years as wage earner.

  78. Hello, to whom it may concern, I want to live abroad in SE Asia Phillipines, Viet Nam , and Thailand, and am wondering how I can succesfully manage my SS and retirement bennefits from those locations? I will be retiring in a couple of years approxiamately.

    • Hi, Kolam. If you are a U. S. citizen, you may receive your Social Security benefits outside the United States as long as you are eligible, no matter how long you stay outside the United States. However, there are certain countries to which we cannot send payments. For more information about your payments while you are outside of the United States, please visit here. Also, our Office of International Operations home page provides more information to assist our customers living abroad. We hope this helps.

  79. I am a permanent US resident (green card holder), but an Austrian citizen.
    Regarding the receipt of monthly social security payments upon retirement , Austria and the USA do have an intergovernmental agreement with respect of recognizing and honoring a person’s time he/she worked and payed their contributions in either one of these two countries.
    Now here is the question:
    Where and from which agency in the US, do I get legal, written and signed proof about the times/years I have worked and payed my contributions here in the US, in order to present this very proof soem day for recognition towards my retirment in my home country Austria?
    Perhaps someone can bring some clarity in this foggy subject.
    Thank you in advance!

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