Social Security & Federal Benefits

The American Citizens Service (ACS) Section of the Embassy in Kingston assists U.S. citizens, Jamaicans, and third country nationals who receive benefits from the Social Security Administration, Railroad Board, Civil Service, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The ACS Section collaborates with the Regional Federal Benefit Unit in San Jose, Costa Rica to provide benefit information and services. The Regional Federal Benefits Unit has agents in San Jose, Costa Rica; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Buenos Aires, Argentina; and Baltimore, Maryland- USA. 

The best way to contact the Social Security Administration is by using our online form. Or, you may direct all federal benefits inquiries to the Regional Office in San Jose, Costa Rica via e-mail: SJRegion@ssa.gov or FBUSanJose@state.gov.

Change of Address

If you receive Social Security Benefits and moved from the United State or any other country to Jamaica, you must report your new mailing address to U.S. Embassy in Kingston or the Regional Federal Benefits Unit.

The best way to report your address change to the Regional Federal Benefits Unit is by using our online form. You can also inform us that you no longer wish to remain enrolled in Medicare Part B, in your message.

Please note that the mailing address you provide should be a foreign address. You should not provide the Social Security Administration with the Miami address provided to you by your private mail courier, since this could cause temporary suspension of your benefits when the SSA learns that you are living outside of the United States.

Social Security Beneficiaries overseas have three options for receiving their benefits via direct deposit:

  1. Direct Deposit to a U.S. Bank Account – You will need to supply the U.S. account information to the Federal Benefits Unit. The best way to provide your U.S. Bank information to the Federal Benefits Unit is by using our online form.
  2. Direct Deposit to a Jamaican Bank – NCB offers a banking structure compatible with the needs of the Social Security Administration. We recommend you visit an NCB branch to open an account. They will notify the Regional Federal Benefits Unit of your banking information. NCB Flyer. If you choose to bank with another institution in Jamaica, please have the bank complete the form 1199 (PDF 414 KB). Note that the Social Security Administration does not accept swift codes, the bank agent must provide a complete 9-digit routing number and account number.
  3. Direct Express – http://www.usdirectexpress.com/.

Please note that Medicare does not provide any coverage for medical or hospital services outside of the United States.

You can apply for Medicare Part B by contacting the Regional Federal Benefits Unit using our online form.

For official information on Medicare coverage outside the U.S., please review the pamphlet Medicare Coverage Outside the U.S (PDF 220 KB).

In addition to relying on beneficiaries (a retired person or family member) to report events that may affect their benefits, SSA contacts beneficiaries residing in Jamaica annually if they have a Jamaican address on record.

Social Security mails these questionnaires to the beneficiaries receiving their own benefits or to the representative payees (person receiving benefits on behalf of a minor or disabled person) in May/June of each year to the foreign mailing address on their record at the Social Security Administration. Selected beneficiaries receive the form with an envelope to the SSA facility in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

SSA sends a follow-up notice 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.

Certain non-U.S. Citizens can receive Social Security regular monthly benefit payments after residing lawfully in the United States of America for one full calendar month. They are required to live in the U.S. for one month each time they are outside of the U.S. for six full consecutive months and wish to receive payments.

This requirement applies to beneficiaries eligible to receive a payment but who:

  •  Are not a U.S. citizen, or
  •  Were not initially eligible for monthly benefits before January 1, 1985, or
  •  Have not resided in the U.S. for at least five years.

You must report completing your full-calendar month to receive payment.

Once you have completed your full calendar month visit, you must present the following documents to the U.S. Embassy in Kingston for certification and submission to the Regional Federal Benefits Unit:

  • Passport with date stamp entry into the United States.
  • Plane ticket stubs associated with the travel dates on the passport
  • Hotel receipts or statements of individuals specifying the dates the person provided the beneficiary with lodging. The person signing the letter must provide their address, telephone number and date the letter. The statement does not need to be notarized.

We will ask you to complete and sign a statement that include:

  • The dates you entered and left the U.S.;
  • The address at which you stayed; and
  • A statement that you did not go outside the U.S. at any time during the month you were present in the U.S.

You can download the statement by visiting: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/jamaica/231771/PDFs/SSA-795_travel.pdf (PDF 32 KB)

For an example of how to comply with One Full Calendar Month travel in the U.S. Click here. (PDF 336 KB)

The best way to submit information regarding the death of a beneficiary to the Regional Federal Benefits Unit is by using our online form.

The Social Security Administration has suspended the field office issuance of Social Security Earnings Statement.

However, an individual can download and complete the Form SSA-7004, Request for Social Security Statement, then print, sign, and mail it to the address on the form request a statement. The form SSA-7004 can be printed from the following link: http://photos.state.gov/libraries/jamaica/231771/PDFs/socialsecuritys (PDF 667 KB)

Telephone Number: (202) 606-0500
Website: http://www.opm.gov/
E-mail address: retire@opm.gov

Mailing address:

U.S. Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
P.O. Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017

OPM Publications of Interest

Survivors Benefits for Children: http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/pamphlets/ri25-27.pdf (PDF 462 KB)

Thinking about Retirement? http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/pamphlets/ri83-11.pdf (PDF 216 KB)

Life Events and Your Retirement Benefits http://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/pamphlets/ri38-126.pdf (PDF 777 KB)

 

You may obtain contact information for the VA at the following address: www.va.gov/landing2_contact.htm

For more information VA Services and Benefits for U.S. Veterans Living Abroad www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/foreign/index.htm

Veterans Affairs Publications of Interest

Federal Benefits for Veterans Dependents and Survivors 2013 Edition http://www.va.gov/opa/publications/benefits_book.asp

http://www.dol.gov/

The Department of Labor website offers information on benefits programs such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and workers’ compensation programs, (Black Lung, FECA, Longshore).

http://www.rrb.gov/

The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers comprehensive retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for the nation’s railroad workers and their families. The RRB also administers certain Social Security benefit payments and railroad workers’ Medicare coverage.