Receiving USA Social Security in Ukraine..(retirement type)

I am interested if anyone has applied for SS while in Ukraine and what documents are required at the American Embassy in Kiev to start receiving benefits and if there is any ongoing documents for a person to submit while receiving benefits..

I am actually nowhere near the age of retirement but one day when I was in our embassy, I asked. The paperwork is simple and you do it just one time. Here's the complication, your checks are sent in care of the embassy. Since I live in Kyiv, this is not a problem to pop in once a month. Unfortunately, they will make no exceptions, you must come to the embassy each month and within a prescribed time or your check will be returned to the States. I made this inquiry just over a year ago and I doubt any changes have occurred.

I was aware of this 'check to the embassy' in Kyiv but was wondering if anything had changed since starting in 2013 the government will no longer produce SS checks but must have an electronic bank account to send your money to..In the USA anyway.. I wasn't sure if this new law would apply to people living in Ukraine..and avoid having to go to kyiv to pick it up.. I live down near Crimea and it would be a major hassle to go to Kyiv each month to pick it up.

The simplest way to do this is to establish an account with a US bank and have your money direct deposited into it.  I have an address with the UPS Mail Box system through a UPS center near my USA address (I think it is critical to maintain an address in your home nation).  Using UPS will give you a permanent contact for forwarding mail and other services that USPS cannot provide.  It is a bit of an expense (about $180/year), but well worth every penny.  I still own property in my home state and use this as my permanent mailing address (with forwarding and change of address to the UPS mailbox to insure getting mail and my son checks for any additional mail delivered there).   Of course it is much easier simply to keep your old USA bank account active.  My account has been active for over 25 years so there are no issues.  I use my debit card to withdraw money here.  It is free and safe, if you use the "Euronet" ATM system.  I would caution you not to use your debit card for anything except withdrawing cash and be extremely careful with the PIN as well as choosing a bank system that is safe.  Investigate the banks in your area and avoid those with ANY ties to Russia or any possibility of failure (recent collapse of "PRIVAT" Bank here is a good example).  "Euronet" is out of the EU and is very safe and reliable.  Although it is a bit of a hassle to setup, it is well worth the effort and perfectly legal.  I have an acquaintance here who uses his daughter's USA address for his home address.  By doing things this way, you can keep and maintain your Drivers License, a car (both here and in the US), and do normal business things as you would if still actively living in the USA.
And, it makes visiting the US with your new family a lot easier.

My question is. If you move to Ukraine, and your income is US Social Security and you become a resident living there more time then the United States are you still protected under the dual Taxation agreement between the two Countries.. I have heard alot of guess work on this subject and its blurry between the lines. If someone has expertise on this issue I would appreciate the knowledge, Thank You J

I receive Social Security and my benefits were stopped in June. I'm waiting to hear when they will be reinstated now. When I lived in Prague I had no problems, but Ukraine is a different story. You must have permission to live here and go to the US embassy in Kyiv I think once every couple of months,  I guess to prove you're still alive. Also Social Security Benefits are handled through the US Embassy in Warsaw, so you have to complete all the forms at the Embassy in Kyiv,  but they simply send everything to Warsaw. For me it's been a nightmare and they said it will take 2-8 weeks to reinstate my Benefits. Because even though you can complete all paperwork in Kyiv, it is just sent to Warsaw and they send it to the Baltimore Field Office. Oh and you have to let them know where you live here and if you move you must let them know. But any more specific questions contact the Embassy in Kyiv or Warsaw. If you have Skype and can hold for an hour or so call Social Security in the States.

wow, thats bad news to here that. I cant understand why social security would be handled in Warsaw when your dealing with Ukraine business. , crazy. Thank you for your response

The following information is directly taken off the social Security Website and is quite clear. The exception Requirement must be met and satisfied during a review by Social Security. Of course there are other ways to do this from going to Poland to setting up a stream of financial Institutions in the middle of a transaction or even debit cards and banks. The legal way to do it is in these instructions. Get approved and they will send the money to the Kiev Embassy.  I believe eventually once you are there you may be able to use Euronet which has many Satellite offices in The United States in my Case, and is not a Russian affiliate. Secondly there ATM system seems to be safe according to reviews i have checked out. Simply put the US Government Social Security system isn't confident with transferring your money to Ukraine so your options are the embassy period. Again you can figure out a way to get it there through addresses, debit card, multiple bank transfers and other possibilities working the system. It clearly states that you could lose your benefits until a review is conducted.

Social Security

Home | U.S. Citizen Services | Social Security
U.S. citizens may receive Social Security and other Federal benefits payments while residing in Ukraine.  However, exception requirements must be met to receive Social Security benefits in Ukraine.  Social Security Administration restrictions prohibit direct deposit of funds to bank accounts in Ukraine, or sending your payments to anybody else while you are in Ukraine.  For more information on receiving benefits while overseas, please visit the Social Security Administration website .

If you qualify for an exception, your benefit payments will either be sent to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv or direct deposited in to your U.S. bank account.  Benefit checks sent to the Embassy must be picked up by the beneficiary in person; they may not be mailed to you or picked up by anybody else.  Also, to receive benefits in Ukraine, whether via check or direct deposit, the beneficiary must appear in person at the U.S. Embassy each month.  Failure to do so may result in your benefits payments being stopped. Please contact the American Citizen Services unit  for additional information, or for help in determining whether you may qualify for an exception

Regional Federal Benefits Office

The Regional Federal Benefits Office with responsibility for Ukraine is located at the U.S. Consulate in Warsaw, Poland. This office may be contacted at The Federal Benefits Unit in Warsaw:

U.S. Embassy Warsaw
Federal Benefits Unit
ul. Piekna 12
00-539 Warsaw Poland

To obtain information you may also contact us  by
Tel.: +48 22 504 2112 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Fax: +48 22 504 2281
Email: [email protected]


In a final comment i would like to not that Citi bank is one of the few banks that has branches in Ukraine and the United States. I think this is worth discussing with Social Security. If you were able to have social Security deposit directly with Citi Bank and the electronically Citi dispurses your funds via a bank account and debit card in Ukraine a lot of the excess charges and security issues would be removed.In my opinion. This will be what I will submit during my interview with social security I have scheduled Hope this is helpful. Were all discussing the many angles of a discussion that is in many forums but between all our efforts i think we will get there with a solution.

Social Security is handled through Warsaw, but they simply send everything to Baltimore, because it's a special branch of Social Security that is handled for those receiving benefits outside of the States,.

I am also on expatua Forum and i talked with a moderator that told me all you need is the Social Security debit card known as Direct Express and you can use that in Ukraine and not have any red tape with  the embassy. He said he has been using it for 2 years

So let me get this straight, I'm on SSDI (Disability) my check get direct deposited into my US Bank. And I still have to get an exception? For what, it's not going to a Ukrainian Bank, I plan on using my debit card from my US bank, that does not charge any Foreign Fees. Seems strange to me. Thanks in advance for your response.


Why is Euronet, a hassle to set up?  requirements or what?

After reading your comment about Citibank in the States and Citibank in Ukraine (Kiev). depositing in the
States and  have their system transfer your funds to Citibank in Ukraine. Have talk to Citibank in the states.
(1 888 248 4226). and I was inform that Citibank in the states is NOT affiliated to the one in Ukraine..They
don't even know there's a Citibank in Ukraine...They are affiliated to Citibank in Russia.

@drralph47r Thank you for the information. My goal is to rent out our Oregon condo while visiting Ukraine and rent out the purchased condo in Kviv when we are back in Oregon. Perhaps in 2 years, or so.

Dr Dean

Although I am far from retirement age, one day, while I was at our embassy, I decided to inquire about the procedures related to that stage of life. It turned out that the formalities are quite simple and need to be done only once. However, there is a complication - retirement checks are sent to the embassy for further handling. Since I live in Kiev, visiting the embassy once a month is not a problem for me. Unfortunately, no exceptions can be made, so I have to come to the embassy regularly at the designated time, otherwise the check will be returned to the United States. I asked this question over a year ago, and I doubt that any changes have occurred in the meantime.

Thanks Piotr Vanderer. We plan on visiting next spring. And if we are agreeable, maybe buy a condo in Kviv (Kiev?) to use while we are there (3-5 months). Thanks, again. Dean