Message for U.S. Citizens: Social Security Benefits

Here is the latest ACS message from the FBU in the U.S. Embassy in panama City.

U.S. Embassy Panama
Consular Section
Federal Benefits Unit

The Social Security Administration recently informed us that there are still over 300 Social Security recipients residing in Panama who have not returned their proof of life form. In May/June of each year these forms are sent to the mailing address recipients have on record with the SSA. A second request is mailed in October.

If you meet any of the conditions below, you were required to comply with this requirement in 2014:

  • Beneficiary with a representative payee or
  • Beneficiary aged 90 and over or
  • The terminal digits of your SSN ends in 00 – 49

If you have not yet returned your proof of life form to the Federal Benefits Unit or if you wish to obtain a blank form, please contact us immediately. The Social Security Administration will start suspending benefits in February 2015.

Here is the first post I did on POL.

11 thoughts on “Message for U.S. Citizens: Social Security Benefits

  1. Jim, maybe you didn’t understand the message. This is a notification message that if you are receiving SS benefits and fall in the categories mentioned, you better have submitted the POL form.

    I have been contacted too many time by citizens that have had their benefits stopped for not complying with the rules.

    This really isn’t a message that deserves criticism.

  2. Barry, as the post said, you have to contact the FBU in Panama City to receive it, if you did not receive it at your local Panama mailing address.

    The purpose of Proof of Life for is to validate that you are indeed living. When you live outside of the US it is too easy to have a person die and the SS department not know of the death and this system is in place to validate life.

    If SS is cut off, it will likely require a Face to Face meeting in the U.S. Embassy in Panama City.

    I have provided validation for some in the past preventing a visit to the Embassy.

    Here is an email address for the FBU. Panama-FBU@state.gov

  3. Just a small comment on the Proof of Life form …. this is required only if your mailing address for your SS benefit is outside the US and it possessions. Being “resident” in Panama does not require the form, unless you are receiving the check outside the USA.

  4. Your comment is not correct. If your permanent residence is in Panama, then you are required to have a Panama Mailing address. Read the original post. It has nothing to do with where your SS payment is deposited. Mine is deposited in the U.S. and I still have to comply with the regulation.

    If you are a permanent resident and the SS determines that you are using a US address, it is grounds for immediate termination of benefits. Using a relative’s address is not valid. You could be lucky and not be found for a while or you might get a surprise.

    Just to repeat, if you are a permanent resident of Panama (i.e. have a E-cedula or a pensionado card) then you are required to provided the SS with a local address. Infact, if you live outside of the U.S. for more than 3 month you are required to not the SS.

  5. And for those of us that have no mailing address as in no address PERIOD, then what?? My abogada agrees with “conepatus”. Where does it say in Panama law, that you must have a valid address??? Besides, what’s the real reason the Feds need your address??? When you die in a foreign country, either the USSA embassy or other foreign gov’t agency notifies the Feds that you’ve expired. Hmmmmm sounds kinda like TMI for me.

  6. You use the general delivery of your local Post Office if you do not have an APDO.

    Your physical address may as little as Boquete, Chiriquí or Boca Chica or whatever.

    The Embassy will notify the appropriate agency if the Embassy is notified.

    However, many gringos come here and marry a local and she would rather keep collecting the check, so no one gets notified. That is the reason this system is in place.

    Panama law has nothing to do with it.

    If you need help filling out the information, contact Panama-FBU@state.gov.

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