Retirement

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

October 20, 2016 • By

Last Updated: October 20, 2016

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.


Tags:

See Comments

About the Author

Jim Borland, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Communications

Comments

  1. David N.

    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.

    • Ann C.

      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!

  2. Indra

    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

  3. Doug P.

    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.

  4. Steve G.

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

    • Ann C.

      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.

  5. Miriam N.

    how can i track my ssn in the philippines

    • Vonda V.

      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.

  6. Gilles B.

    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

    • Vonda V.

      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.

  7. Lawrence a.

    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?

  8. Henry J.

    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.

  9. Lucinda K.

    How do i create an account when I only have an overseas address and phone number?

    • Vonda V.

      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.

  10. Claudia F.

    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?

    • Vonda V.

      Hi Claudia, thank you for your question. 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.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Claudia. We recommend that individuals living outside the United Sates contact your Federal Benefits Unit 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. Thanks.

Comments are closed.