Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

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Gaybutton
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Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:52 pm

Travelerjim sent me the following:
Regarding US Social Security International Direct Deposits ––

A member contacted the Social Security Office (SSA) in Manila concerning the deposit of US Social Security benefits direct to a Thai bank account – here is an excerpt from the response, followed by their contact information and office hours.

There are two types of Direct Deposit: one is Correspondence Direct Deposit (CDD) –– this is how deposits to Bangkok Bank work right now; another is International Direct Deposit (IDD).

Since IDD will soon be available in Thailand, you may have been given instructions by Bangkok Bank to update with us. However, IDD is still in the testing phase and will not be available during the next coming months. US Social Security Beneficiaries in Thailand will be sent a letter once IDD is available.

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Bob » Fri Mar 29, 2019 9:17 pm

The US Consular General in CM, along with some Bangkok Embassy bigwig, indicated that this whole deal was in process and, at some point in time, Social Security will be able to direct deposit one's US social security benefits in most (major?) Thai banks; however, as noted above, the Consulate and Embassy personnel said that the new system/method will take a long time to be in place (they thought it ought to be working by the fall or end of this year).

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Gaybutton » Fri Apr 19, 2019 8:29 am

Received from Travelerjim:
------------------------------------------

From: [email protected] <[email protected]>
Sent: Thursday, April 18, 2019 6:02:02 PM
Subject: Message for U.S. Federal Benefits Recipients

Message for U.S. Federal Benefits Recipients:

The United States Department of the Treasury now offers direct deposit of federal benefit payments, including Social Security Administration (SSA), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and Office of Personnel Management (OPM), to banks in Thailand. The payments are automatically converted to Thai Baht (THB) at the international exchange rate before they are deposited in the account. U.S. dollar payments are not available. The United States Department of the Treasury does not charge fees to make the deposits. However, Thai banks may charge fees.

Direct deposit is the safest, most convenient and reliable method of receiving your benefits. The payment is electronically transmitted to your bank account and you have immediate access to your funds by the payment date. There are no delays, including missing and stolen checks.

You do not have to do anything if you are currently enrolled in direct deposit. Your payments will continue to be sent to your current bank.

If you wish to sign up for direct deposit or switch your direct deposit arrangement to another bank in Thailand, please contact the agency listed below.

Social Security Administration
U.S. Embassy Manila
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita 0930
Manila, Philippines

Email: [email protected]

Phone No.: +63 2 301 2000 ext. 9 (from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Manila Time, Tuesdays and Thursdays except Philippine and U.S. Holidays)


Department of Veterans Affairs

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +1 (918) 781-7550 (from 9:00am to 5:30pm, Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday)

Office of Personnel Management
Retirement Operations Center
PO Box 45
Boyers, PA 16017 U.S.A.

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +1-888-767-6738 (from 7:40 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time)

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Dodger » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:17 pm

In case anyone's interested; Below is the link to sign up for a Social Security Account.

https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/?utm_camp ... ovdelivery

If you are receiving social security deposits in Thailand (or plan to in the future) you can use this account to print your annual Proof of Income Letter which you'll need to submit to Immigration at visa renewal time. You can also use this account to make changes to your direct deposits, for instance, changing from CDD to IDD when the time comes.

Note that I have not received a Letter from Social Security yet regarding the implementation of IDD in Thailand. Personally I plan to just wait until I receive this notification before I do anything. I think the SSA transfer fee I'm paying now (using CDD) is .25%. Apparently there will be no fee once IDD goes live in Thailand...yeah!

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Bob » Sat Apr 20, 2019 7:55 am

It's cool and probably helpful to many that they rolled out the whole deal even earlier than expected. My only minor concern (which may be none at all) is the provision that states:
"The payments are automatically converted to Thai Baht (THB) at the international exchange rate before they are deposited in the account."
Checking a couple of days ago, the "international exchange rate" was very close to the rate the Thai banks are paying here so hopefully there will be no significant loss due to use of that exchange rate. It appears that the US is using the FinCen rate (same one used for FBAR online reports and if one needs to file the 8938 form with your 1040) which is determined and published by FinCen every 90 days so I'd presume that the exchange rate for a given deposit would be based on the last quarterly rate publication. Probably no big deal but could make some difference during any time period when the dollar/baht exchange rate is rapidly changing.
I am happy that the US isn't using any rate that the banks or other money exchangers within the US are using as those rates are typically pretty lousy.

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Dodger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:31 am

Bob wrote:
|'m happy that the US isn't using any rate that the banks or other money exchangers within the US are using as those rates are typically pretty lousy.
You can say that again.

I'm not sure where my US Bank was getting the exchange rates from when they used to transfer funds for me to Thailand - but it was always 2 or 3 baht less to the U.S. dollar as compared to the published Bangkok Bank and Kasikorn Bank exchange rates. That really sucked!

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Apr 20, 2019 9:20 am

Dodger wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:17 pm
https://www.ssa.gov/myaccount/?utm_camp ... ovdelivery

If you are receiving social security deposits in Thailand (or plan to in the future) you can use this account to print your annual Proof of Income Letter which you'll need to submit to Immigration at visa renewal time.
For those who need to create an account, unless you have a USA address, their website will not permit you to create an account. That happened to me. When I moved to Thailand I was not yet eligible for Social Security. Once I became eligible I no longer had a USA address and I could not create an account.

Since I no longer had a USA address, I tried to register using my brother's address. That did not work. All I got was an error message saying their system has no record of me at that address. Then I tried to register using the last address I actually had in the USA. That did not work either.

Then I called Social Security to ask if there some way I can get on to the website. They said without a USA address there is no way I can get on to their website and anything I wish to do with Social Security will have to go through the Philippines office.

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Dodger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:15 pm

GB wrote:
Since I no longer had a USA address, I tried to register using my brother's address. That did not work.
I notified SSA of my USA address change shortly before my return to Thailand giving them my daughters address. Once the new address was in their (SSA) system I was able to open the account. Another reason I had for maintaining a USA address was in the event that I ever wanted to use Medicare - because Medicare has a requirement where Americans residing in another country must be able to show proof of a USA residence in order to collect any benefits.

I think the problem you encountered may have been because SSA did not have your new address (your brothers address) in their files and their system simply didn't recognize it. If you were to notify SSA of your USA address change (your brothers address) and then wait a few days for it to process, the system should then recognize it and allow you to open the account. At least it seems possible.

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Gaybutton » Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:00 pm

Dodger wrote:
Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:15 pm
If you were to notify SSA of your USA address change (your brothers address) and then wait a few days for it to process, the system should then recognize it and allow you to open the account.
How did you notify them? Did you call them, send a written letter, send an email? And which office did you notify?

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Re: Social Security direct deposits into Thai bank accounts coming

Post by Dodger » Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:59 pm

GB wrote:
How did you notify them? Did you call them, send a written letter, send an email? And which office did you notify?
I phoned my local SSA office in Chicago and they sent me a short form to fill out via e:mail. I entered my new USA address on the form, returned it, and a few days later I was able to open the account using my new (daughters) address.

If you get SS and are unable to change your address online right now, you can call SSA at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and they will take care of this for you. The other option is to get the phone number of the SSA office in the city where you previously lived in the USA and call them. They will in-turn send you the short form to get you rolling.

I suggest doing this type of change through SSA USA versus Manila.

Hope this helps.

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