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

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

Remember 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


  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

          • John T Dodds says

            I live in Ajijic. can I send this form to Guadalajara? thanks for the download.

        • Reena Bhansari says

          Hi James,

          My mother is having the same issue as you. She never received 7162 so I she prints and sends one to Wilkes PA will it get processed. Was yours processed are you getting your benefits now?

          • James Demello says

            So sorry I did not reply. I assume you got your problem resolved. I sent one form to Manila and one to Wilkes Barr address and they reinstated my SS benefits within 4 weeks.

  2. Richard Paul says

    My wife and I are receiving SS benefits and are living in the US right now but will be moving to Spain in the near future. Do we need 7162 and 7161 or just 7162?

    • Mariana Lange says

      the difference between 7162 and 7161 is whether someone is acting on your behalf or if you are the person submitting the form.
      7161 is for a person handling your funds.

  3. Ajay Johary says

    James and Reena, I am a US citz living retired in India several yrs. 7162 has been quite a pain over the yrs for me. 7162 with barcode etc preprinted most yrs never came in my mail in India. Same true for the 1099 and the COLA Benefits stmt. Very disappointing. Foreign address holder, who has more need then domestic, ironically, not allowed to sign up for online ss account. 1800 ssa cust svc cannot answer any ques pertaining to 7162! President Biden, r u listening? Very annoying. I make photocopy of some previous yr’s form 7162 that I have, make changes by pen like date etc, and mail it around Aug or Sep from India to Wilkes Barre. This has worked over the yrs. Sending by fedEx etc costs exorbitant around $40, so I just mail it by REGISTERED POST from the post office in India which cost about $2.5 which is affordable. IndiaPost does give a trkg #, but the trkg stops in mumbai (i live in an interior city), no intl trkg. So I always send a duplicate 7162 in separate envp 5 days later, hoping at least one will make it to ssa. This has worked for me. The wilkes barre address I use is P0 Box 7162, Wilkes-Barre, PA18767-7162, which is different from the one shown on this website. My gameplan is if it doesnt reach ssa in wilkes barre, and my benefits stop on Feb1, I will send the same 7162 jpg to Manila embassy (which serves India) by email, they will reinstate payments and all back payments withheld within 10 business days as per manila website. Yes I worry around Nov and later “Have my mailings reached ssa wb usa?” This is not nice, it shouldnt be this way. Why cant ssa acknowledge receipt of 7162, not by mail, but perhaps by email (no confidential info), or simply put a flag or indication in a field in the computer records for that ssn and when u call ssa 1800 the rep says ” Your 7162 was recvd, processed, and everything looks good”, that would solve all problems. Hope this helped.

    • Reena says

      Thank you so much for all your help Mr. Johary. Your explanation has really helped. Thanks again for sharing 🙂

  4. phil says

    Good info thanks. My problem is I never get the form in Merida. This year Marzo 2023 I mailed to Embassy in CDMX after I was cut off in February. They were wonderful and I was reinstated in March. My ? is, what month are we supposed to mail them? Thanx, Phil

    • Lee says

      Same problem. Did you get an answer to your ?

  5. solomon manuel says

    I am now living in the philippines, and regularly update my 7162.
    After the covid, they are strictly no long longer accepting digitally signed or e-signature (form). where can i send my signed form? pls help
    From here in the philippines, this will be the address i am sending:
    Social Security Administration
    Wilkes-Barre Direct Operations Center
    Attention: FEQ Analyst – Courier Service
    1150 E. Mountain Dr. Room 341
    Wilkes Barre, PA 18702-7997

  6. James Demello says

    Well it is a new year and I still don’t know the proper procedure. Are we to submit the form every year or every other year? And if we do not get the form in the mail with the barcode, can we fill in and submit a blank 7162 form? And do we send to our embassy (Manila in my case) or Wilkes Barre or both?
    Anyone know?

  7. Lee Chapman says

    Does anybody know when or how often form SSA 7162 must be filed? Is it once or twice a year? And when is it due so as to avoid payment suspension? We live in Mexico and never received form 7162 and our payments were suspended. The American Consul in Guadalajara helped us restore our payments but we don’t want to have to go thru this again. I just need to know WHEN the form is due to avoid suspension. I know how to download the form and where to send it.

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