TN 45 (03-24)

GN 02401.080 Use of United States Address by Beneficiary Abroad

A. When to use a U.S. mailing address

A beneficiary abroad may use a U.S. mailing address when they:

  • have an Army Post Office, Fleet Post Office or Diplomatic Post Office address,

  • have a representative payee in the U.S., or

  • expect to be abroad for 3 months or less.

NOTE: The beneficiary (or their representative payee) must always keep SSA advised of their residence address for contact and foreign enforcement purposes.

B. When not to use a U.S. mailing address

A beneficiary may not use a mailing address in the U.S. to receive payment when they:

  • travel abroad for more than 3 months;

  • reside in a Treasury-restricted country listed in RS 02650.001C; or

  • reside in a barred country listed in RS 02650.040.

NOTE: Technicians must never send checks to relatives or friends in the U.S. for beneficiaries who are abroad more than 3 months except during interim periods while developing a proper mailing address.

C. Receiving benefit payments with a foreign address

A beneficiary with a foreign address (i.e., living outside the U.S.) may have their benefit payment sent to a financial institution (FI) of choice. Title XVI recipients are ineligible to receive benefits while residing outside of the U.S. unless an exception applies. For more information on exceptions, see GN 00303.700A.

1. Checks mailed to an FI

If a beneficiary wants their benefit check mailed directly to an FI in their country of residence, the Office of Earnings and International Operations (OEIO) must receive and approve a completed Treasury form SF-233 Special Power of Attorney by Individual for the Collection of Checks Drawn on the United States Treasury.

NOTE: Some countries refuse to negotiate government-issued paper checks.

2. Direct deposit with a foreign address

Beneficiaries using International Direct Deposit (IDD) must reside outside the U.S. If a beneficiary wishes to have benefits deposited to a local FI in their country of residence, they must reside in a country where we have a valid and active IDD agreement. For a list of participating IDD countries, see GN 02402.220D. Beneficiaries may reside in one foreign country and have IDD arrangements in another foreign country (e.g., a beneficiary who resides in Belgium but banks in France). The only exception is if the beneficiary resides in a restricted country.

D. References

  • GN 02402.110 Domestic FIs and Beneficiaries Outside the U.S.

  • GN 02402.115 Power of Attorney to Foreign Financial Institutions (FI)

  • GN 02402.120 Correspondent Banking

  • GN 02402.201 Background and Policy for Direct Deposit Outside the U.S.

  • GN 02402.220 List of International Direct Deposit (IDD) Countries and References for Updating the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR)

  • GN 02605.220 Address Used By a Beneficiary

  • RS 02650.001 Treasury Department Restrictions

  • SM 03005.050 Barred Country Processing

  • VB 00205.215 Residence in a Treasury Barred Country

  • VB 01201.015 Payments to Individuals in Barred and SSA Restricted Countries

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GN 02401.080 - Use of United States Address by Beneficiary Abroad - 03/06/2024
Batch run: 03/06/2024