Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:15 pm

I just read Lawrence Kotlifoff's "Get What's Yours" (yes I know some things regarding file and suspend have changed) but at the end of the book he and his co-authors talk about changes that must be reported to SSA. They all make sense to me (address change, work changes, citizenship, etc) but one of the items is "You go outside the U.S.A. for 30 consecutive days or longer."

Does anyone know why this would be an issue for SSA?

I assume some portion of seniors want to travel the world as they now might have both the time and the resources. I have met couples who were renting an apartment in another country for a couple months at a time. I believe some countries let you stay there for up to 90 days before you have to go back home (if you don't have permanent resident alien status) source: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+lon ... fox-b-1-ab.

So if I wanted to stay outside the U.S. for 90 days, why would I have to contact SSA and notify them? The SS check is deposited into one's bank account, so why would it matter to SSA?

Anyone know the answer(s)?

Thanks.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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southerndoc
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by southerndoc » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:29 pm

I wonder if it's related to Medicare?

Silk McCue
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:29 pm

A web search seems to show that it only applies to those that receive SSI.
If you are traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. Then we can let you know whether your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected.


https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-be ... ed-states/

Cheers

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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by wolf359 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:03 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:29 pm
A web search seems to show that it only applies to those that receive SSI.
If you are traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. Then we can let you know whether your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected.


https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-be ... ed-states/

Cheers
Actually, it's complicated. There are a lot of reasons they might not be able to send you payments, and a lot of exceptions where they would still send them to you.

For example, the US has an embargo on North Korea and Cuba, and cannot legally send you payments while you are residing there. They will send you all the payments they withheld as soon as you move to a country where they can legally send them. There's a list of other countries where they cannot send payments, but can make arrangements (if you are a US citizen) under certain circumstances.

Some non-US citizens are eligible for Social Security, but only while they reside in the United States. If they go back to their home countries, they may not be eligible. But then there's an exception if they were collecting survivor's benefits because they were the spouse of a veteran. And on and on.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf

It's easier for them to require you to notify them, and they'll figure out the eligibility and exceptions. In general, US citizens collecting benefits may collect them regardless of where they live. The SSA may not be able to send payments everywhere, and will withhold the payments if you're in a country under embargo, but you can eventually get the money.

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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:15 pm

wolf359 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:03 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:29 pm
A web search seems to show that it only applies to those that receive SSI.
If you are traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. Then we can let you know whether your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected.


https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-be ... ed-states/

Cheers
Actually, it's complicated. There are a lot of reasons they might not be able to send you payments, and a lot of exceptions where they would still send them to you.

For example, the US has an embargo on North Korea and Cuba, and cannot legally send you payments while you are residing there. They will send you all the payments they withheld as soon as you move to a country where they can legally send them. There's a list of other countries where they cannot send payments, but can make arrangements (if you are a US citizen) under certain circumstances.

Some non-US citizens are eligible for Social Security, but only while they reside in the United States. If they go back to their home countries, they may not be eligible. But then there's an exception if they were collecting survivor's benefits because they were the spouse of a veteran. And on and on.

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10137.pdf

It's easier for them to require you to notify them, and they'll figure out the eligibility and exceptions. In general, US citizens collecting benefits may collect them regardless of where they live. The SSA may not be able to send payments everywhere, and will withhold the payments if you're in a country under embargo, but you can eventually get the money.
If I want to spend three months in Europe on vacation they have no need to know and won’t be contacted. With check being deposited in U.S. Bank It’s none of their business. Just asking for trouble unnecessarily.

I’m 57, so just speaking smack about what I would do.

Cheers

ResearchMed
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:24 pm

Yikes.

I don't remember ever knowing about any 30-day "out of country" rule.
We'll be pushing right up against in during one trip next year (28 or 29 days).

How would they even know?
Is anyone really trying to match up SS# and passports and checking for border crossings in/out of USA?

We've been getting regular SS (not SSI) for a few years now, and I'm a bit concerned that I had overlooked something like this.
We also have checks deposited directly into bank account, no matter where we are.

Is this something that we *should* be dealing with in the future if (hopefully, "when") we are gone 30 or more days?

RM
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Austintatious
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by Austintatious » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:33 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:29 pm
A web search seems to show that it only applies to those that receive SSI.
If you are traveling outside the U.S. for an extended amount of time, it’s important that you tell Social Security the date you plan to leave and the date you plan to come back, no matter how long you expect your travel to last. Then we can let you know whether your Supplemental Security Income (SSI) will be affected.


https://blog.ssa.gov/social-security-be ... ed-states/

Cheers
DW has recently applied for a spousal benefit and has received a document entitled "Application Summary For WIFE'S OR HUSBAND'S INSURANCE BENEFITS". Included is a list of 11 events that are to be reported to SS in order to avoid overpayments and possible penalties. One of the events to be reported is if "You go outside the U.S.A. for 30 consecutive days or longer."

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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 pm

This website has a simple interface to see if you will continue to receive benefits while traveling out of the states.

https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme ... ideUS.html

Cheers

ResearchMed
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:01 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 pm
This website has a simple interface to see if you will continue to receive benefits while traveling out of the states.

https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme ... ideUS.html

Cheers
Thanks.

Is there a list of countries where SS recipients can NOT go, and still receive benefits?
Is it different for "own benefits" vs. "spousal"?

I obviously didn't try every country on that drop down menu, but every country I did try indicated I was "okay to continue to receive benefits" either on own or spousal basis.
(It didn't address whether checks would/could be sent overseas vs. being deposited in a USA-based account.)

ETA: And what about the initial question: Why?

RM
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Silk McCue
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:19 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:01 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 pm
This website has a simple interface to see if you will continue to receive benefits while traveling out of the states.

https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme ... ideUS.html

Cheers
Thanks.

Is there a list of countries where SS recipients can NOT go, and still receive benefits?
Is it different for "own benefits" vs. "spousal"?

I obviously didn't try every country on that drop down menu, but every country I did try indicated I was "okay to continue to receive benefits" either on own or spousal basis.
(It didn't address whether checks would/could be sent overseas vs. being deposited in a USA-based account.)

ETA: And what about the initial question: Why?

RM
AARP article from last month.

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social- ... ty-abroad/
If you are a U.S. citizen and qualify for Social Security, you can receive payments while living in most other countries. Under Treasury Department sanctions, Social Security will not send money to anyone residing in Cuba or North Korea, although affected U.S. citizens can recoup payments once they move elsewhere.

Americans living in nine other countries — Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan — can receive Social Security payments only under certain strict conditions, one of which is agreeing to appear personally at a U.S. embassy or consulate every six months.
Cheers

ResearchMed
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:52 pm

Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:19 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:01 pm
Silk McCue wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:50 pm
This website has a simple interface to see if you will continue to receive benefits while traveling out of the states.

https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme ... ideUS.html

Cheers
Thanks.

Is there a list of countries where SS recipients can NOT go, and still receive benefits?
Is it different for "own benefits" vs. "spousal"?

I obviously didn't try every country on that drop down menu, but every country I did try indicated I was "okay to continue to receive benefits" either on own or spousal basis.
(It didn't address whether checks would/could be sent overseas vs. being deposited in a USA-based account.)

ETA: And what about the initial question: Why?

RM
AARP article from last month.

https://www.aarp.org/retirement/social- ... ty-abroad/
If you are a U.S. citizen and qualify for Social Security, you can receive payments while living in most other countries. Under Treasury Department sanctions, Social Security will not send money to anyone residing in Cuba or North Korea, although affected U.S. citizens can recoup payments once they move elsewhere.

Americans living in nine other countries — Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan — can receive Social Security payments only under certain strict conditions, one of which is agreeing to appear personally at a U.S. embassy or consulate every six months.
Cheers
Thanks.

However, "living" in another country is not necessarily the same as "being out of the USA for 30 or more days", such as a vacation or extended business travel. So I still don't understand why there is some sort of restriction, about "where one travels", especially if one is still "resident" in the USA.

And the "agreeing to appear every six months".... for a trip of a bit over 30 days...!?
But again, even that section says "... living ..."

:confused

RM
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bogglizer
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by bogglizer » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:02 pm

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:52 pm
But again, even that section says "... living ..."
Clearly, vampires and zombies are excluded here. They think of everything.

ResearchMed
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by ResearchMed » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:05 pm

bogglizer wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:02 pm
ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 9:52 pm
But again, even that section says "... living ..."
Clearly, vampires and zombies are excluded here. They think of everything.
:D

RM
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by Shallowpockets » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:06 pm

Don't think this is so. As others said, how would they know. plwnty of people travel for greater than 30 days, including me and no problems. It is direct deposit. I would not, do not, worry about it.

jminv
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by jminv » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:36 pm

arcticpineapplecorp. wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:15 pm
I just read Lawrence Kotlifoff's "Get What's Yours" (yes I know some things regarding file and suspend have changed) but at the end of the book he and his co-authors talk about changes that must be reported to SSA. They all make sense to me (address change, work changes, citizenship, etc) but one of the items is "You go outside the U.S.A. for 30 consecutive days or longer."

Does anyone know why this would be an issue for SSA?

I assume some portion of seniors want to travel the world as they now might have both the time and the resources. I have met couples who were renting an apartment in another country for a couple months at a time. I believe some countries let you stay there for up to 90 days before you have to go back home (if you don't have permanent resident alien status) source: https://www.google.com/search?q=how+lon ... fox-b-1-ab.

So if I wanted to stay outside the U.S. for 90 days, why would I have to contact SSA and notify them? The SS check is deposited into one's bank account, so why would it matter to SSA?

Anyone know the answer(s)?

Thanks.
Some reasons it might be an issue for SSA - I think it has a lot more to do with people moving overseas than tourists:
1. You are no longer eligible for benefits in which case they can stop paying. This can be for a variety of reasons, see posts above.
2. You could pass away overseas and they might not catch it, in which case benefits would continue to be paid. In some countries I see that you would have to go to the embassy/consulate every six months in person presumably to prove you are still alive. This could be because there is no routine official notification of death to the embassy of the foreign citizen.
3. It seems to be targeted at people who are foreign citizens or whose survivors are foreign citizens. In some cases, survivors are not eligible for benefits without meeting some residency tests.
4. There are countries with which SSA has an agreement with their foreign equivalent. In some cases, particularly as a foreign national, a move might mean you need to claim with the foreign equivalent.
5. There are rules/laws for everything that many people are unaware of and don't follow. This seems like one of them. At the same time, by having a detailed set of published guidelines, people can't claim to be surprised when they lose benefits. For example, a move by a foreign national back home might not be such a great idea if the consequence of it is that their survivors receive nothing. Hopefully they read a publication such as this and such an eventuality might lead to better planning.

I don't think the intended audience is an American vacationer who otherwise resides in the USA although they are technically included in the requirement. I do think that it is primarily targeted at people moving overseas during retirement and their survivors. It would be an unpleasant surprise to be a foreign survivor and be expecting benefits that won't materialize. Social security might be informed/can search if you register your presence with the local embassy. On all my moves I never did this but they do encourage it, primarily advertised as a way to send emergency alerts and aid in evacuations.

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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:49 am

wolf359 wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:03 pm

...For example, the US has an embargo on North Korea and Cuba, and cannot legally send you payments while you are residing there. They will send you all the payments they withheld as soon as you move to a country where they can legally send them. There's a list of other countries where they cannot send payments, but can make arrangements (if you are a US citizen) under certain circumstances...
I can stay months and months in a foreign country and still not "reside" there.i would still be a "resident" of the US.
Regardless, I won't be receiving welfare (Supplemental Security Income) so it's a non issue either way...
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retired early&luv it
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by retired early&luv it » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:16 am

I just ran the on line tool for a couple of countries that I might go to in the next several years.
https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme ... ideUS.html

It gave this generic answer for all of them.
As a United States citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States in this country as long as you are eligible for them.

By next week I will have forgotten about this topic, as it sounds like I will not have to worry any of this.

The Wizard
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by The Wizard » Sun Nov 11, 2018 12:52 pm

retired early&luv it wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:16 am
I just ran the on line tool for a couple of countries that I might go to in the next several years.
https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme ... ideUS.html

It gave this generic answer for all of them.
As a United States citizen, you may receive your Social Security payments outside the United States in this country as long as you are eligible for them.

By next week I will have forgotten about this topic, as it sounds like I will not have to worry any of this.
Conversely, if you relocate and become a resident of Cuba or North Korea, the Treasury Dept prohibits sending you your social security benefit, even direct deposit to a US bank.
Those are the only countries you cannot be a resident in and receive SS benefits...
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sun Nov 11, 2018 7:31 pm

thanks everyone for your responses, thoughts on the matter and various links. You've given me some answers to this question and/or other places to search if needed.
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Re: Does anyone know why SSA has to be notified if you go outside the USA for 30 consecutive days or longer?

Post by asset_chaos » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:07 am

ResearchMed wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 8:24 pm
How would they even know?
Is anyone really trying to match up SS# and passports and checking for border crossings in/out of USA?
When we lived in Australia and received family benefits (money from the government for young children), we took our children once on an extended travel of about 3 months outside Australia. The government knew the children had left the country and sent us a letter, which we saw on return, that family benefits stop after 60 days until the children reenter the country. We hadn't notified anyone in the government we were traveling. The Australian government clearly was matching passport exits and entries to benefit recipients. We also didn't tell them when the children returned, but the government agency knew exactly when to turn benefits back on.

If the Australian government is routinely automatically matching passport movements with benefit recipients, then I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that the US government both is able to and is doing so as well.
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