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Federal Benefits - Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I haven't received my Social Security or my VA check in the mail this month. What should I do?

A: Neither the Social Security Administration (SSA) nor the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will accept a report of non-receipt of benefits until the end of the month in which the check was due to arrive. If you have still not received your SSA or VA check by the end of the month in which you should have received it, you may do the following:

If you prefer, you may contact American Citizens Services (ACS) unit at the Consulate General serving your area and we will contact SSA or VA on your behalf.

Please note that replacement checks can take several weeks to a month to be issued. The ACS unit has no influence or control over how quickly these replacement checks are issued and sent.

Q: How do I apply for a Social Security number?

A: Please refer to Applying for a Social Security Card.

Q: I want to apply for my Social Security retirement benefits. How can I do this?

A:Please refer to Applying for Social Security Benefits.

Q: How do I change my name on my Social Security card?

A: Please refer to Changing your name on your Social Security Card.

Q: I need to change my address on my Social Security or Veterans Affairs record. What form do I need?

A: No form is required. Just send in your written request to American Citizen Services at the Consulate General serving your area. Please include your full name, previous address, current/correct address, Social Security number, and Veterans Affairs number (if applicable), and ask that we forward the updated information to Social Security, Veterans Administration, or both.

Q: How can I have my Social Security payments paid by direct deposit to my bank?

A: To enroll in Direct Deposit of your benefits, please complete Form SSA-1199, and return it to the Consulate General serving your area. Please note that there are different versions of Form SSA-1199, depending on whether you wish to have the funds deposited into:


Q: I need proof of what I receive from Social Security. What form can I use?

A: Requests for a Statement of Benefits can only be obtained directly from the Social Security Administration. Please contact Social Security directly for further assistance.

Q: I would like to apply for Veteran Affairs benefits. How can I do this?

A:Download and complete the VA Form 21-526 and send it to Veterans Affairs in Pittsburgh or to American Citizen Services at the Consulate General serving your area and we will forward it on for you.

Q: I need an estimate of benefits that I (and my family) may be eligible for now and in the future.

A:Request a Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) by completing Form SSA-7004 and forwarding it to Social Security.

Q: Upon my death, will my spouse be paid a benefit?

A: Your surviving spouse may be entitled to receive a payment. Please refer to Social Security FAQs and Veterans Affairs FAQs.