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Alternative contact for Social Security


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An expat has communicated to the wardens that his wife, after being unable to contact the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica on a social security matter, discovered an office in Washington that helped her. Below is his email:

"Here's the contact information from my wife.  The lady's name was Mrs. Alba.  Her email address is SJREGION@ssa.gov
When Cheryl was talking to her, we got disconnected and she called back.  So I have two phone numbers related to that episode, both that show a DC area code.  They are 202-684-7436  and 202-787-1583."
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I have not yet applied for Social Security payments.  But, if I elect to start taking them, do I have to apply at the Costa Rica embassy?  Or can I do it on a trip back to the US and merely visit a Social Security office in Houston, for example?

I assume I'll make the decision to have the funds deposited into an American bank account. 

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36 minutes ago, Uncle Doug said:

I have not yet applied for Social Security payments.  But, if I elect to start taking them, do I have to apply at the Costa Rica embassy?  Or can I do it on a trip back to the US and merely visit a Social Security office in Houston, for example?

I assume I'll make the decision to have the funds deposited into an American bank account. 

 

Uncle Doug,

 

A friend of mine here in Boquete applied last year.  They make it pretty simple to apply, there are three ways, either in person at a social security office, online via their website, or via telephone.  They were successful via telephone.

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

 

Uncle Doug,

 

A friend of mine here in Boquete applied last year.  They make it pretty simple to apply, there are three ways, either in person at a social security office, online via their website, or via telephone.  They were successful via telephone.

 

 

Wow! You're right. When I applied a trip to the office was an absolute necessity. Here are the instructions:

https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/applying8.html

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It sure does look simple. And passport renewal now is simple. Back when, passport renewal required personally going to PC. Poco a poco the SSA is entering the 21st century. Of course, it's still impossible to sign up for an online SSA account unless you have a U.S. physical address, for a widow to collect $240 in widow's benefits without making a trip to PC, the proof of life form required of expats is a nightmare (as we all know), etc. Poco a poco.

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