RT Cunningham

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My Social Security Payment Suspension

Tagged with olongapo city, philippines, social security, united states on February 3, 2024

Social Security Administration I found out this morning that my United States social security payment was suspended. Temporarily, most likely. Since I don’t look at my social security account online every month, I logged on this morning to find out why my normal payment wasn’t deposited yesterday. That’s when it should have been deposited, since today is Saturday.

I don’t know about other countries, but Americans drawing social security payments at any address in the Philippines get paid on the third day of each month. It’s always on Friday if the third day falls on a weekend.

My Social Security Online Account

I logged on to find out why I didn’t get paid. When I arrived at the main page and scrolled down, I clearly saw the word “Suspended” in red lettering. I checked for any messages, and there weren’t any.

It seems to me that when a government agency decides to stop paying me, for whatever reason, they should tell me in advance. After all, they have my e-mail address and phone number as well as everything else. This is like “shooting first and asking questions later.”

Social Security Administration at the U.S. Embassy

The next logical step was to contact the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy, since they handle social security matters in the Philippines. When I brought up the page, I was greeted with this:


If you did not receive your monthly Social Security payment this month, your benefits have likely been suspended because we did not receive the annual questionnaire form that was mailed to you.

To reinstate your benefit payments, 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…

… 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.

Since the Form SSA-7162 pertained to me, I had a few copies printed at a nearby internet cafĂ©. My wife, Josie, took the one I completed and mailed it from a courier service office in downtown Olongapo City a couple of hours before noon. It cost her 175 pesos (or a little over three United States dollars). It’s a good thing she didn’t have to pay for her ride to and from the courier service office.

Government Failure

The title of Form SSA-7162 reads “REPORT TO THE UNITED STATES SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION”. Nothing on the form, and nothing at the social security website, says that this form has to be completed and sent to them every year. Also, the embassy’s web page is a lie. I have never received anything by mail from anywhere in the Philippines, and I probably never will.

2023 was the first year I drew a social security pension. I’m guessing that I should have sent this form by the end of December, but how was I supposed to know that?

Trust me, this won’t happen again. I’m lucky that I could draw a credit card advance to cover some automatic payments. Without it, I would be screwed.

Image by the U.S. Government, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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