Tag Archives: Proof of Life

POL and Lost SS Payments Follow-up

I took Natalie to visit Robert today. While they were talking, I wrote the Embassy to see if they had learned anything about the missing SS payment. This was the response from the FBU.


I just verified the International Treasury Service and no one is showing up with the SSN provided. When this happens it’s because the address on record with the SSA is not a local address.

I sent an inquiry to the SSA on his payment dated 02/03/2016. Beside the POL, his benefits could be suspended for address reasons also. I’ll wait to see what the SSA responds.

In these particular cases where the beneficiary is unable to handle their own affairs, someone, preferably the person taking care of them, should apply to be the representative payee.


What can be learned from this response? Several things if you look carefully at what was written.

First, you will notice that the Embassy contacted the “International Treasury Service”. They do not interface with the stateside office of the SSA. This is why I said in previous comments that state social security offices are not up on the requirements of US citizens living outside the US.

Second, the international office has no record of any individual residing in Panama with this SSN. This tells you that the individual moved here and did not change his/her address with the SSA. He/She had not registered a local Panama address.

Third, the FBU is saying that the payments could have been stopped because of address reasons. This may mean that while all payments are being deposited in a bank in the US, it was noticed that all withdrawals are coming from Panama. I don’t know this for a fact, just analyzing the reply.

Lastly, the reply suggests that if the individual is not able to manage his/her financial affairs, it is preferable to have a person, responsible for care taking, doing it. This will be difficult in the situation, since the caretakers are not family.

I hope I’m wrong, but I suspect the individual will be lucky to get the payments turned before the next month pay period. The problems would have been avoided had the individual registered his Panama residency with the SSA. Then the SSA would have sent out a POL form to be returned.

In summary, this is a US citizen with a US address registered with the SSA and money being deposited to a US bank. Seems like this is what others have commented was in compliance SSA requirements.

SSA POL Forms Received

I now have my and MC’s SSA POL forms. My plan is to send them to the Federal Benefits Unit of the U.S. Embassy Monday or Tuesday. I need to call them first to verify that is OK.

Unfortunately, Robert’s POL forms didn’t come in and I will have to print off the form that the Embassy sent me and fill it out. His also will require my buying an ink pad and taking a finger print, since he is unable to sign the form.

The last I heard, there were still 500 expats in Panama whose POL forms had not been received. If you are one of them, contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama City to get a form.

If you you are a permanent resident of Panama and a U.S. citizen and don’t have a clue what POL stands for, Read This.

Proof of Life Advisory

If you are a permanent resident of Panama and receive pension payments from the US (i.e SS, RR etc) then you should know that the Proof of Life forms, that must be returned, have been mailed.

If the questionnaire is not received by October, you should contact the FBU for a blank form to avoid the benefits from being suspended.

If you do not know about the Proof of Life requirement, then read the original post which is ->  http://www.chiriquichatter.net/blog/2013/05/09/proof-of-life/

For general information on the SS proof of life from the Embassy, you may refer to the following link: http://panama.usembassy.gov/ssai.html

And no, you may not use a PTY or other mail forwarding address as your SSA notification address.