Social Security form irks a few expats living here

Some readers are not too happy with the U.S. Social Security Administration.

Two sent in required forms and got them returned as undeliverable.

And a Caribbean residents asks Washington bureaucrats “Who the hell are you to tell me that my money may be withheld if I do not jump through hoops to answer your dumb questionnaire.”

The unhappiness stems from a U.S. Embassy announcement Wednesday that said that as many as 800 expats here might have their monthly Social Security check frozen because they did not return a form.

The form seeking status information went out in July, and a followup notice went to those who did not respond in October, according to the embassy. The form, which asks questions is only sent to Social Security recipients living outside the United States.

Art Sulenski in Los Angeles Sur de Alajuela reported that he and a neighbor filled out the forms and sent them in to the Social Security Administration in envelopes that the agency provided.

They were returned as being undeliverable, he said.

Efforts to get straight answers from the SocialSecurity Administration failed, so Sulenski turned to the U.S. Embassy here.

“I scanned and emailed the forms to that person at the embassy then mailed the forms to the same person and received an email back saying that the form and information had been entered into the system. Much to my surprise, a few days ago I received another form from Social Security saying that if I didn’t return this form my Social Security check could be cut off.”

“I cannot understand how in this day and age of technology and all the equipment that the post office and government has in the U.S.A. how this keeps repeating.” he said. He ended up sending in another form, he said.

Carol Meeds of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca was less diplomatic. “I live in a jungle, she said.  “Mail gets lost.  I am alive and well until you hear otherwise.  Do not cancel the money that I worked for and contributed  to all my life . . . and you might consider softening your tone to a more respectful one when you are talking to people who are grandmothers and grandfathers who have worked all their lives and contributed to this system!”

The U.S. Embassy replied via email that workers there and the Federal Benefit Unit were trying to help solve Sulenski case. However, that response did not make an earlier version of this news story because the reply was inexplicably routed to an editor’s spam file.

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