Don's Life In Thailand
Social Security

This page contains information about

Form 7162 (Proof of Life)

Survivor's Benefits for Thai Wife
                                         
Form 7162

What is SSA Form 7162   
CLICK HERE

To download Form 7162  CLICK HERE

To fill out the form online  CLICK HERE  


HOW TO FILE FORM SSA 7162 IF YOU ARE “OF RECORD” AS LIVING OUTSIDE THE USA WHILE
COLLECTING SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS (AND GET YOUR BENEFITS REINSTATED IF THEY HAVE BEEN
CUT OFF BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T FILE IT

I called the SSA International Desk and got the following information about how SS recipients living in Panama
can get their benefits restored as quickly as possible if the benefits are frozen because of failure to file the SS
7162 form every year:

VERY IMPORTANT: MAKE SURE THAT YOU WRITE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON THE FORM OR
IT WILL NOT BE PROCESSED. Print carefully and legibly.

There are four ways you can do this:

1. You can fill out and sign the form and send it to the local embassy and they will forward it to the
international desk. However, although there is a “paperless system” wherein embassies can send this kind of
document direct by (non public) fax number to the international desk, a lot of embassies do not use this
system and prefer to use snail mail. This can substantially delay the receipt of benefits.

2. You can mail the form to the SSA international desk using the address given on their website (the reliability
of this depends solely on the reliability of mail in the country from which it is being sent). (I certainly do not
recommend this option…)

3. You can send the signed form via Fedex or DHL to their special non-PO box “courier” street address, which
is:

Social Security Administration
Office of International Operations
1718 Woodlawn Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21207

**
NOTE: If you do this, you can use a fast print-to-deliver service like www.mimeo.com

4. You can FAX the form to the international desk using the following fax numbers:

If the last 2 digits of your social security number is 00 to 16:         410-965-5882
If the last 2 digits of your social security number is 17 to 32:         410-966-6782
If the last 2 digits of your social security number is 33 to 49:         410-965-8054
If the last 2 digits of your social security number is 50 to 66:         410-965-9409
If the last 2 digits of your social security number is 57 to 82:         410-966-5552
If the last 2 digits of your social security number is 83 to 99:         410-966-1042

These fax numbers are not published anywhere, so print and save them.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET YOUR BENEFITS REINSTATED?

Jen told me that once the international desk has “received the form into the work flow” it will take approximately
one month for the benefit deposits/checks to resume. You will be paid retroactively whatever amounts were
withheld once the deposits resume.

NOTE that this 30 day period does not begin to run UNTIL THE FORM HAS BEEN RECEIVED AND ENTERED.
If you are sending it to the US Embassy you must add whatever time it take them to get the form to the
International desk in the USA.

I asked her why the US embassy demands that the forms be mailed as well as faxed. She said that this
requirement is not one imposed by SSA, since if it was, they wouldn’t accept the forms by fax either. She said
that they have no control over rules and procedures utilized by the embassy.

Note: If you do not have a
netfax account and no way to fax the form in a way that guarantees proof of receipt,
you can also an upload-to- print-and-deliver service like www.mimeo.com and have them deliver it to the
courier (non PO box) address. Mimeo uses fedex, hence the need for a non PO Box address, but you can
choose one of the economy methods.




U.S. Social Security Survivor's Benefits

From an Expat living in Thailand
Posted 2010-03-10 08:38:16

Many of us expat Americans believe that when we die our Thai wives will be eligible for U.S. Social Security
Survivor's Benefits the same as would an American wife. This is a mistaken belief.

Some American friends and I have argued over whether: (1) Being married has any impact upon the AMOUNT
of monthly entitlement one can expect upon becoming eligible for U.S. Social Security Retirement Benefits; and
(2) Whether my Thai wife will be eligible for a U.S. Social Security Benefit as would an American wife.

I thoroughly researched the question at U.S. Social Security online, reading all the fine print, notes and
hyperlinks and found the answer to be "no" to both questions. As to the first question, being single, married or
divorced has no impact upon the amount of a social security benefit. As to the second question, a non-citizen
spouse, living abroad is entitled to a survivor's benefit only if the spouse lived continuously in the United
States DURING the relationship creating the entitlement. So, if you and your wife lived in the States
continuously for five years or more, she can get it. If not, no way Jose, you take it to the grave.

Some individuals refused to believe it and suspected my research was flawed.

Next, I went to U.S. Social Security online and submitted this electronic query:

Facts: I am 58 years old, married to a Thai citizen. We live in Thailand and intend to do so indefinitely. My Thai
spouse has a U.S. tax number so that we can file taxes jointly, but she has never been to the United States
and will probably never go to the United States. She has never paid into the Social Security system.

Question One: Does the fact of being single, married or divorced at the time of eligibility for U.S. Social
Security Retirement Benefits have any impact on the amount of benefit for which I am eligible?

Question Two: If at the time of my death, I am receiving U.S. Social Security Retirement Benefits, will my
spouse be entitled to Survivor's Benefits?

Last week, I received Social Security's response:

From: SSA.Comments@ssa.gov [mailto:SSA.Comments@ssa.gov]
Sent: Wednesday, March 03, 2010 11:58 AM
To: johnnyr4@gmail.com
Subject: Robertson\Response\3742502\Belusko WBDOC 10083\

Thank you for contacting the Social Security Administration.

1) Your benefit amount is the same whether your are married, single or divorced.

2) Unless your spouse is a US citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder) she is not entitled to
survivor benefits.

There it is, right from the SSA horse's mouth.