Federal Benefits

It wasn't fair to leave you all alone after talking about taxes, so here's the good news that most of your federal benefits can follow you overseas (the big exceptions are Medicare / Medicaid, which are not available overseas. For some ideas on health insurance while overseas, please take another look here.)

Social Security

The Social Security Administration deals with claims for retirement, disability and survivor benefits, Social Security number applications, all post-entitlement activities affecting beneficiaries under the various programs, i.e., changes of address, issues involving direct deposit of SAA checks, nonreceipt of check allegations and death terminations.

If you would like information on how to apply for social security retirement benefits, or for instructions on how to replace, correct, or change your name on your Social Security Card, see the Social Security Administration (SSA) website. This site also has a downloadable application form, the (SS-5) and tells you what kind of identification you need to send along with your application form.

Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) processes survivor claims, educational benefits, compensation and pension examinations, etc.

The Department of Veteran Affairs website offers the Federal Benefits Manual for Veterans and Dependants (1997), details of benefits available, and downloadable benefits forms. The VA also has special arrangements for the delivery of their services to Americans resident in Canada, Mexico and the Philippines. Check their web site for details, call them at 303-331-7590, or write to the VA at FMP Office, P.O. Box 65021, Denver, CO, 80206-5021.

Due to international restrictions, the VA cannot ship prescription drugs internationally; if you need medication that you have been receiving through the VA while in the U.S., you'll need to make other arrangements while overseas.

Office of Personnel Management

The Office of Personnel Management offers information for federal employee benefits such as retirement programs, thrift plans, and health insurance.

Department of Labor

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

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