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Reinstatement of social security benefits


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February 8, 2018

Message to U.S. Citizens


Many U.S. citizens have contacted the U.S. Embassy in Panama City to request information on how to have their Social Security benefits reinstated after the benefits were suspended due to a lack of proof of life form submission.  In order to address this question, the Federal Benefits Unit in San Jose, Costa Rica, which now handles all social security issues for Panama, provided the below  link with instructions on how to have benefits reinstated.  We have also pasted the information from the San Jose Federal Benefits website below for easy reference.




You Did Not Get Your February 2018 Social Security Payment?


Your benefits have been suspended because we did not timely receive your Foreign Enforcement Questionnaire.

In order to reinstate the benefits you must take the following actions:

  • Complete the SSA-7162 form (Pdf-157Kb) if: you receive payments in your own name.
  • Complete the SSA-7161 form (Pdf-484Kb) if: you receive payments through a representative payee.
  • Please make sure to:
    • include your social security number;
    • sign; and
    • date the form

Where to send the completed form:

Email a scanned pdf copy of the completed form to sjregion@ssa.gov using as subject: FEQ-country where you live-last name of the worker’s record under which you receive benefits (sample: FEQ-Colombia-Perez)

OR FAX it to 506-2291-1032.

Then, mail the original completed and signed form to:

Social Security Administration
Wilkes Barre Data Operations Center
Attention: FEQ Analyst, FEQ Forms 7161-7162
1150 E. Mountain Dr.
Room 341
Wilkes Barre, PA 18702-7997 


American Citizens Services

 U.S. Embassy Panama

  • See the State Department's travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Panama Country Specific Information. 
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler-Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency. 
  • Contact the U.S. Embassy in Panama, located at Building 783, Demetrio Basilio Lakas Avenue Clayton, Panama, at +507-317-5030, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Friday.  After-hours emergency number for U.S. citizens is +507-317-5000. 
  • Call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
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  • 4 months later...

I received my 7162 proof of life form yesterday at the Dolega post office. It was post marked July 4. The form was generated on June 1. I am posting this so people will start checking to avoid a hurry. The instructions are in Spanish and say I have 60 days from when I receive it to get it back to them in Wilkes-Barre Pennsylvania. I intend to send it through the service offered at the Tues meeting.

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Social security benefits are not suspended for failure to file the Proof of Life form until early in the following year, usually February. Anyone receiving a form right now has at least five months for the form to be received in Wilkes-Barre. I think even the Panamanian post office is capable of meeting that timeline.

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