TN 15 (02-06)
GN 00904.210 U.S. government personnel
The different laws, customs, languages and conditions abroad, together with the difficulties which can arise in dealing with claimants and beneficiaries abroad by mail, often make it difficult to administer the Social Security program effectively outside the U.S.
To assist SSA in this, on-the-scene assistance from U.S. personnel abroad is provided by:
U.S. Foreign Service posts (FSPs);
SSA representatives stationed in Great Britain (London), Greece (Athens), Italy (Rome), Mexico (Mexico City), Costa Rica (San Jose), the Philippines (Manila) and Germany (Frankfurt);
FOs servicing the British Virgin Islands, Canada and Samoa; and
The American Institute in Taiwan (AIT).
NOTE: Although not an official diplomatic post, AIT performs the functions of a FSP. AIT employees have authority (Public Law 96-8) to receive evidence and certify copies of documents for SSA purposes. Requests to the AIT are sent in the same manner as requests to any other FSP.
2. SSA representatives abroad
The SSA representatives stationed abroad:
provide expert on-the-scene management of the Social Security program;
train personnel in their assigned areas;
coordinate Social Security operations in their assigned areas and assure the procedures used in their areas are adequate and effective;
undertake studies; and
provide a continuing analysis of the program needs in their areas.
The Social Security representative assigned to Manila supervises the SSA Division of the Veterans Affairs Regional Office (VARO) and has the title of Technical Advisor.
The other SSA representatives are assigned to the U.S. Foreign Service Reserve. Each is a consular officer with the title of Federal Benefits Officer (FBO) and is in charge of the Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) in the office in which he/she is assigned. The Technical Advisor and FBOs are referred to as Regional Federal Benefit Officers (RFBOs).
The Center for Program Support – International Support Branch (CPS-ISB) in OCO coordinates the activities of these SSA representatives.
B. List of geographical areas of responsibility
The RFBOs have responsibility for geographical areas as follows:
1. RFBO, Athens
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Serbia and Montenegro
United Arab Emirates
2. RFBO, Frankfurt
St. Helena and
3. RFBO, London
4. SSA technical advisor, Manila
Micronesia, Fed. States