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Social Security Items of Interest
January 24, 2023

Windfall Elimination Provision Which May Reduce My Social Security Benefits Because of Pensions I Receive

Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) affects how we calculate your Social Security retirement or disability benefits if you receive a pension from work not covered by Social Security such as a foreign country pension.

For more information concerning the Windfall Elimination Provision please see: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/retire2/wep.htm


Information About Totalization Agreements and International Programs?

The United States has bilateral Social Security agreements with 30 countries. The agreements improve benefit protection for workers who have divided their careers between the United States and another country. They also eliminate dual Social Security coverage and taxes for multinational companies and expatriate workers. Look here for an overview of the agreements, as well as the text and a detailed description of each agreement.

For more information, please visit International Programs- International Programs and Resources (ssa.gov)

Foreign Enforcement Questionnaire (Forms SSA-7161 or SSA-7162) and Foreign Enforcement Suspensions

Each year some beneficiaries are required to complete the Form SSA-7161 or SSA-7162. The form is sent with a return envelope to the SSA facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The purpose of the form is to ensure SSA has the correct address and phone number on file and that circumstances that may affect payment have been reported.

The forms are mailed in May each year. A follow up notice is sent in October and December if the completed questionnaire has not been received. Failure to provide the required completed questionnaire will result in suspension of benefits effective the payment due on February 3.

In the case of benefits being suspended, you will need to print and complete one of the forms listed below.

  • If you are a Social Security beneficiary, please complete Form SSA-7162
  • If you are the Representative Payee for a beneficiary, please complete Form SSA-7161

When completing the form, please ensure that you include your complete name, address, contact number, SSN and sign the form. Once signed, mail the completed form to:

Federal Benefits Unit
U.S. Embassy
42 Elgin Road
D04 TP03

Once we receive the completed form, we will take immediate action to reinstate benefits. Any past due benefits will be directly deposited into your bank account, usually within 7-10 business days. Thank you.

mySocialSecurity Online Services

Visit www.socialsecurity.gov for more information on mySocialSecurity accounts and the online services that are currently available.

SSA is working to improve and expand the available services.

A mySocialSecurity account allows you to:

  • Keep track of your earnings and verify them every year;
  • Get an estimate of your future benefits if you are still working;
  • Get a letter with proof of your benefits if you currently receive them;
  • Manage your benefits: · Change your address; · Start or change your direct deposit; and · Get a replacement SSA-1099 or SSA-1042S for tax season.

Further information on creating a mySocialSecurity account can be found at Create an Account | my Social Security | SSA

Advance Designee

Identify someone to manage benefits for you

Tell us who should manage your benefits if you become unable to manage them in the future.

You may become unable to manage your own Social Security benefits if you get sick or experience other challenges. Plan ahead and tell us now who should manage your benefits if you experience something unexpected in the future. We won’t contact the person you pick unless you become unable to manage your benefits. Send this information by using our online form: FBU Inquiry Form – U.S. Mission Ireland (usembassy.gov)

Representative Payee

A Representative Payee can be a person or an organization. The Social Security Administration appoints a Representative Payee to receive the Social Security benefits for anyone who cannot manage or direct the management of his or her benefits. A Representative Payee’s main duties are to use the benefits to pay for the current and future needs of the beneficiary, and properly save any benefits not needed to meet current needs. A Representative Payee must also keep records of expenses. When the Social Security Administration request a report, a Representative Payee must provide an accounting to the Social Security Administration of how he or she used or saved the benefits.

NOTE: Being an authorized representative, having power of attorney, or a joint bank account with the beneficiary is not the same as being a Representative Payee. These arrangements do not give legal authority to negotiate and manage a beneficiary’s Social Security benefits. In order to be a Representative Payee, you must apply for and be appointed by the Social Security Administration.

If you are concerned that someone you know becomes incapable of managing or directing the management of his or her benefits, please contact our office by using our online Inquiry Form: FBU Inquiry Form – U.S. Mission Ireland (usembassy.gov)