Ask the U.S. Consul – November 2017

My father is a United States citizen but he lives in Trinidad with me, I have heard of recent changes in Social Security benefits, does he have to travel to the U.S. to receive his payments?

 

Thank you for your inquiry. Residing in Trinidad and Tobago has minimal effect on your father’s Social Security benefits.  While there has been no change in how Social Security Administration (SSA) payments are distributed, there have been recent changes in how your father can obtain information and guidance about SSA services.

Effective October 1, 2017, individuals residing in Trinidad and Tobago who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in Costa Rica, rather than U.S. Embassy Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The best way to contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit is by using their online form available on their webpage at https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/

The U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain no longer provides Social Security services.  That includes applying for a social security number or card, applying for social security benefits, responding to inquiries regarding benefits, or providing evidence of full calendar month visits to the United States.  If you need these services or have questions regarding the Social Security Administration, you should contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit located in Costa Rica.

On November 6-7, an officer from the SSA Regional Federal Benefits Unit will visit Trinidad and Tobago.  The officer will be available for individual consultations and will hold a town hall with beneficiaries regarding U.S. Social Security programs.

 

During individual consultation sessions, the SSA representative will be able to assist beneficiaries with specific questions about their cases.  Consultations are by appointment only and must be made at least one day in advance.  Book your appointment early as consultations are limited.

 

If you are interested in attending a town hall about U.S. federal Social Security benefits or having an individual consultation, send an email to acspos@state.gov with the full name, address, and phone contact of the person wishing to participate.

 

Finally, for your general information, the U.S. Embassy in Port of Spain continues to offer a range of services to U.S. citizens visiting and living in Trinidad and Tobago including routine and emergency passport services, report of birth and death of a U.S. citizen abroad, and notary services.  Most of these services require an appointment.

Please visit tt.usembassy.gov for detailed information on the services available in Port of Spain.