Proof of Life 2017

Today I received my POL form from Social Security. I do not know if my letter was sent from the US in May or June, but I have mine.

I thought I would pass on the process I am using to guarantee that it is registered properly., based on instructions received from the Embassy today.

I will fill out the form, sign it and send the form along with my passport via DHL to the Embassy in Panama City. It will be entered by Embassy staff on receipt. I will also include a prepaid DHL mailer for the Embassy to return my Passport.

The other option is to mail the form directly to the US and run the risk of having it lost and SS or other federal payments shut off.

In today’s mail, I received a 1099 that had inadvertently gone to Paraguay in February and made it to David on Monday. While the postal codes were correct , it got lost. I am amazed that it got here at all.

If you are a US Citizen that is a permanent resident of Panama (and is receiving federal benefit payments) and are not aware of POL requirements, my original post is HERE.

9 thoughts on “Proof of Life 2017

  1. Hi Don Ray. Ken had to send his form to the embassy 2 years ago. Still waiting for this years form to arrive. Have the procedures changed? Last time the FBU only required him to email the form and passport copy followed up by sending the form and a copy of the passport identifying page by mail or courier. The actual passport stayed home.

  2. My sister-in-law lives in the USA and she must provide POL.
    Then again, she is a Panamanian citizen with permanent residence in the USA so her POL is to Panama. Same procedure, opposite directions. 🙂

  3. I’m not about to ship my passport anywhere outside of where I know it is every second of every day here in Panama. I know some of us must probably have so much loose change laying around to be comfortable splurging on two overly expensive DHL shipments to the embassy and back, but I don’t. Also, my instructions specifically say:

    “Please note that a second form is mailed in October to those beneficiaries for whom a form was not received by the SSA and they will have until the end of November to submit the form to avoid their benefits being suspended in February 2018.”

    As the six forms I’ve sent them over the past 12 years have always been received so far, every other year now, using the regular Panamanian postal mailing service, and costing just a shade over a dollar each time using whatever it is they call registered mail here, I’ll continue to take my chances again this time around as well. However, if I do get a notice from the SSA in October that it didn’t arrive this year, I’ll definitely spend the extra $$$ then, but not now.

  4. You have been one of the lucky ones. Many have not been so lucky. I think a one way DHL mailer to the Embassy is less than $9, so both ways should be less than $20.

    UPDATE: It cost me $22.40 to pay DHL for both ways. Still a bargain.

    Also, I was not implying that anyone should be sending anything to the Embassy if the forms have not been received. Mine have been received and this is a reminder to others to be checking their mail.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. I had a friend that was going to the states mail mine for me last year. I called the FBU unit in Panama City a couple of months later to check to see if it had been received and they told me there was no way to check. They also told me that I should email a copy to the FBU regional office in San Jose, Costa Rica as a backup, which I did.
    Good morning, Mr. Gibson.

    As I explained to you, please scan and send it to the Social Security’s Regional office in Costa Rica. Their email is: sjregion@ssa.gov

    Please note that the second letter from the email address is a “j”.

    Sincerely.

    IA
    FBU/Panama

  6. Obviously that worked for a backup.

    My writeup is for submission, not backup. The FBU area inputs the information at the Embassy and does not send the form to the US> Once you get the passports back, you know it has been done and don’t have to wonder.

    Also, I will remind that things change and I would reverify with the Embassy prior to doing anything different. It also may be different if the benefits are not Social Security.

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