U.S. Citizens Receiving Social Security Benefits Abroad Need These Forms

Generally, the US Social Security system requires all people living abroad receiving Social Security benefits to file a form SSA7162 annually.

And form SSA-7162 and SSA-7161 were on hold for the last 2 years due to COVID issues with overseas mailing. However, that has been resumed as of June 2022 and will be mailed to the address that social security has on file for you. If you put your address in Mexico, look out for this form.

These are known as the proof of life forms. Failure to submit form SSA-7162 to the Social Security Administration with these forms means you could lose your benefits.

So we want to show you what you must do so you don’t accidentally stop receiving your payments.

Who is required to file?

All people receiving Social Security benefits with foreign addresses registered with the SSA. It does not matter if your check is deposited in the USA or to a foreign bank account because it’s all about your mailing address on file with the SSA.

How To File Form SSA-7162 or SSA-7161

In order to reinstate the benefits, you must take the following actions:

  • Complete the SSA-7162 form (Pdf-59Kb) if you receive payments in your name.
  • Complete the SSA-7161 form (Pdf-74Kb) if you receive payments through a representative payee.
  • Please make sure to include the following:
    • Social Security Number;
    • Signature (Note: we cannot accept digital or electronic signatures)
    • Date

You will need to send the original document (no copies) physically to one of the following addresses:

US Embassy Mexico City  (Cd. de México, Edo.  de Méx, Guanajuato, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Campeche, Querétaro, Veracruz, Guerrero, Tlaxcala, Michoacán, Morelos, Hidalgo, San Luis Potosí, Yucatán, Puebla, Quintana Roo, Tabasco)

Federal Benefits Unit
Reforma 305-123
Col. Cuauhtémoc
06500 CDMX 

U.S. Consulate General Guadalajara (Jalisco, Nayarit, Colima, Sinaloa, Baja California Sur, Aguascalientes, Zacatecas)
Federal Benefits Unit
Progreso 175
Col. Americana
44140 Guadalajara, Jal. 

U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez (Baja California, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, Tamaulipas, and Durango)
Consulado General Americano             or        U.S. Consulate General
Oficina de Beneficios Federales                        Federal Benefist Unit
Paseo de la Victoria 3650                                    PO Box 17000
Fracc. Partido Senecu                                           El Paso, TX 79917
32543 Cd Juarez Chih., Mexic

Social Security Administration
Wilkes Barre Data Operations Center
Attention: FEQ Analyst, FEQ Forms 7161-7162
1150 E. Mountain Dr.
Room 341
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702-7997

Source: US Embassy in Mexico

Keep in mind that if you live in Mexico, you may need to send this form through DHL or FedEx with tracking. I would not recommend sending these through Mexico’s postal service since you cannot request a tracking number.

Download Forms 7162 and 7161

Form 7162

Form 7161

Mariana Lange

Mariana Lima-Lange was born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. when she was a child. She spent every summer visiting family throughout Mexico and is very knowledgeable about Mexican culture, lifestyle, and traditions. She is fluent in both Spanish and English.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. James Demello says

    If I download the form, does it matter if the form is one page (front and back) or two pages?

    Can I use an American address for the address field?

    • Mariana Lange says

      I would do two pages
      Yes you can use your US address- although if you live in the USA most likely they do not need this form. This is for people living outside the United States who are receiving Social Security benefits. I assume they would know if you are no longer alive, if they get return mail to them if they send you something to your USA address.

      • James Demello says

        Sorry to bother you again. I have read on some expat forums that Wilkes-Barre will not process SSA-7162 if it does not have the bar code. Another words, filling out a blank SSA-7162 form will not get processed. Am so worried about this as my benefits were suspended in Feb 2023 and cannot get concise information about what to do. I have send a form to my FBU in Manilla but many say they will never get around to it. I have sent one to Wilkes-Barre but it may not get processed. I have searched the internet and this is a huge problem for many many people this year and no one seems to know exactly what to do; receiving conflicting instructions from many sources.

        • Mariana Lange says

          Assuming you are in Mexico, you need to ensure this is sent to the Mexican embassy or consulate in your jurisdiction. I have included those options in this blog post.
          For Manila I am not sure sorry

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *