Solved – But Not Without An Enormous Struggle

After working on this problem for three weeks, the problem is solved.

What I thought to be a problem with a POL letter that was not responded to, turns out to be quite different. However, the difficulty in getting payments available was unbelievably difficult.

From the previous post, it was evident that the individual had not registered as being a resident in Panama.

After verifying that the February payment had indeed been deposited in the checking account, the problem moved to being a bank problem. While the Embassy can communicate directly with another government agency, the bank is a private institution and has different regulations.

Bottom line is, for one reason or another, the bank card was locked. The exact cause is unknown.

The only one that the bank wanted to talk to was the owner of the account. Since the individual had had a stoke, voice communications was impossible. The Embassy offered for me to host a SKYPE conference in which the bank could varying the individual was indeed the account owner.

The bank was unable to do have a SKYPE conference. Through continued efforts by the Embassy, it was determined what the problem was and the card was reset.

Following that, I was called and told that the card still didn’t work. Panic was close to setting in because the bank’s only option was to send a new card to the address on file.

Yesterday, I received a call saying that the the individual was at Supermarket Rey and wanted me to come see the problem with the card.

I went and was told the card didn’t work. I said to try it again and I wanted to watch the process. When the individual went to insert the card, the card was inserted backwards. I took the card out and inserted it the correct way. The code was entered by the individual and all selections were made and the money was dispensed.

What a relief. OK. What lessons are to be learned.

Problems with receiving SS deposits are not always a problem with the SSA..
Dealing with a US bank is virtually impossible if the account owner has had a stroke.
Not updating your address with SSA and Banks can be problems in the event of health problems.
Living in Panama greatly increases the time to solve simple problems.

2 thoughts on “Solved – But Not Without An Enormous Struggle

  1. Glad everything finally worked out OK.
    Don, do you know when the POL forms are sent out. I have been waiting for my daughter’s and mine to arrive in the local post office box in Boquete so I can fill them out and send them in. This is an even year so I should be receiving the notice.


  2. The 2015 letters went out last June and July. Those that didn’t reply should have seen their payments stopped in February 2016.

    2016 letters will go out this coming June and July.

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