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Receiving U.S. Social Security Payments Overseas


Contributed By Retire Worldwide Member Living In Cebu, Philippines:

US citizens can draw their social security in any country on the planet except for Cuba and North Korea, and as far as I can determine, have it deposited locally.

The country lists below are for citizens of the respective countries who have earned the right to draw SSA benefits, but are not US citizens.

Country List 1

A quick view of the  site shows that the following countries citizens are eligible to have direct deposit of their US SSA checks with no restrictions:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Czech Republic
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea (South)
  • Luxembourg
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
Country List 2

This is the list of countries citizens that can have direct deposit of their SSA check as long as they are a not receiving their check as a dependent or a survivor:

  • Albania
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Bahama Islands
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Bolivia
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Gabon
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Guyana
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Macedonia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mexico
  • Micronesia,  Fed. States of
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Nicaragua
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • St. Lucia
  • St. Vincent & the Grenadines
  • Samoa (formerly Western Samoa)
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Trinidad-Tobago
  • Turkey
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

If you are not a citizen of one of the above countries, your payments will stop after you have been outside the US for six calendar months unless of course you are a US citizen. As always, all of these lists are subject to change. There is a third and fourth country list if your country is not listed here.

Perspectives From The Philippines

I live in Cebu, Philippines and my SSA is deposited locally, along with my military retirement check, and my civilian pension. And, if your check arrives in your account on the 3rd of the month in the US, it will arrive here in Cebu on the 4th of the month. (International Date Line you know). No other normal delays. This is the only country that I have had my SSA checks deposited locally at, so it is the only one I am familiar with.

It takes 28 days to clear a US check that I deposit here in my local bank, that is why I use direct deposit. People don’t accept checks in a lot of third world countries, including the Philippines. You stand in line at the places you need to pay, and pay in cash. Some things are delivered to your home such as beer, coke, drinking water, and can be paid COD. Things like electric, cable, phone need to be paid in person, either at the office of the provider, or at a collection outlet, but in most cases, they only accept cash, not checks or cards.

It costs various fees to access your account overseas. Your bank can charge a fee, visa and master charge usually charge a fee, and rest assured that the ATM you use will assess a fee.

You would not want to mail anything here in the Philippines, if it does arrive, it would be very slow. But I don’t do that. I have US accounts to pay for things online, and my Philippine account to pay local things.

A lot of the local banks have relationships with US banks. My US bank can transfer funds to my local bank here, in any amount, for a $3 fee, and it takes two hours and I can have it in dollars or pesos.

Also, I don’t remember seeing the Philippines listed in your list of places to retire. More than a hundred thousand people from the US live here. Something about this place must be good.

For more information about receiving U.S. Social Security payments while living outside the United States, go to http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10137.html



8 responses to “Receiving U.S. Social Security Payments Overseas”

  1. joseph.skinkis

    I receive a direct deposit of my Social Security from the USA at Bangkok Bank.

  2. Randy

    i want to retire to Korea South. My wofe is South Korean so we want to go there after we retire

    Can I have my SS check sent there and my 401 k check sent there as well

  3. Don

    I plan on retiring in Panama ( Wife is from Panama ) can I have my retirement checks and SSI check sent to a Panama Bank?

  4. FOREST

    I can transfer between any US bank and US HSBC with no fee. But, I don’t know of any US Bank which will transfer to a Filipino national bank without a wire fee. If you do it dollars to pesos, you will also lose on the currency rate. Better to use an HSBC USA debit ATM card at the HSBC here in Cebu, to get Filipino pesos cash, with about a $900. USD daily limit. When I need to transfer from the US to Cebu, I write myself a check in dollars, and wait 20 days for it to be deposited in my dollar acct. here. When the rate is good, I transfer from my dollar acct. to my peso account. All at HSBC.
    I prefer to have my SS and other checks direct deposited into HSBC at a US branch. HSBC can be found all over Asia and the world.
    If you should be interested in thinking about living in Cebu, email me at: wm_forest@yahoo.com . I know of two deluxe condos at Citylights Gardens, in the hills overlooking the city, for sale right now. About 250 K dollars and 300 K dollars, 1400 sq ft, 4 BR. Deluxe, American style, free title, for sale by Australian and American.

  5. Hunter

    My situation is a bit different. I am waiting to see what happens in the US Presidential election. If Obama wins reelection, I’m leaving the US.

    My country of destination will be Colombia. My wife is Colombian, and she has family with connections in Colombia. I am a Gringo, but I speak fluent Spanish. It is a lot cheaper to live in Colombia than in the US.

    Does anyone know if I can have my social security check directly deposited into a Colombian bank? I suppose I could always pay a $3 bank transfer fee and have my funds wire transferred to a Colombian bank.

    I’ve never done anything like this before, and am hoping to hear from anyone who might know some information. Also, I don’t know if it matters where I would live in Colombia. I would not be living in Bogota.

    Any advice would be welcome.

  6. FOREST

    Hello, I also live in Cebu, and have also wondered why this site never mentions The Philippines!
    As to banking, I use one of the international banks here. I have my checks sent to my US acct., then transfer here by either using their free ATM, getting pesos out, OR writing myself a check (20 days). I can use this local branch of an international bank to pay tel, electric and phone bills ONLINE. But this is new in the last two years.
    Forest

  7. Joseph Skinkis

    I live in Thailand and I am a USA citizen. I receive a social security check every month through Bangkok Bank.

  8. Jun

    Which US Bank allows you to transfer funds to your Philippine bank in any amount for a $3 fee?

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