TN 15 (02-06)

GN 00904.210 U.S. government personnel

A. Introduction

1. General

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

Afghanistan

Armenia

Azerbaijan

Bahrain

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bulgaria

Comoros

Croatia

Cyprus

Egypt

Georgia

Greece

Iraq

Israel

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kuwait
Kyrgyzstan

Lebanon

Macedonia

Mauritius

Moldova

Oman

Qatar

Romania

Saudi Arabia

Serbia and Montenegro

Seychelles

Slovenia

Sudan

Syria

Tajikistan

Turkey

Turkmenistan

United Arab Emirates

Uzbekistan

Yemen

2. RFBO, Frankfurt

Austria

Belarus

Czech Rep.

Estonia

Germany

Hungary

Iran

Latvia

Liechtenstein

Lithuania

Poland

Russia

St. Helena and

Dependencies

Slovakia

Switzerland

Ukraine

3. RFBO, London

Belgium

Botswana

Denmark

Finland

Gambia

Ghana

Greenland

Iceland

Ireland

Kenya

Lesotho

Liberia

Luxembourg

Malawi

Namibia

Netherlands

Nigeria

Norway

Sierra Leone

South Africa

Swaziland

Sweden

Tanzania

Uganda

United Kingdom

Zambia

Zimbabwe

4. SSA technical advisor, Manila

Australia

Bangladesh

Bhutan

Brunei

Burma

Cambodia

China

Fiji

Hong Kong

India

Indonesia

Japan

Kiribati

Laos

Macao

Malaysia

Marshall Islands

Micronesia, Fed. States

Mongolia