U.S. SSA and Veterans Benefits in Vietnam Update

Both Good_Man and tunnelrat69:

Thanks for your good points.

--I have been getting my SSA pension via transfer to my Bangkok Bank [BBL] acc't, first in Bangkok and later in Chiang Mai, without difficulty whatsoever for over four years.
--Our total fees for the SSA transfer: about USD 11.
--Our monthly payments show up in our direct-deposit acc't on the 3rd of each month like clockwork, or the previous business day if the 3rd is a holiday.
--I anticipate opening my direct-deposit acc't at the VN bank within days of my arrival in April.
--Does the VN bank require that I have any particular type of VN visa?
--I will also look into the option of using the HCMC branch of the Bangkok Bank for this purpose.

Phillip ("Lanna Prince")

Hey Tunnelrat,

I also have an account at Sacombank and I asked them about opening a USD account and they said I couldn't.

If I do send SSA direct deposit to my USA bank account I could transfer to VN in VND. Theoretically, they say the transfer is quicker but they don't talk anywhere about the exchange rate so it's difficult to gauge the economics of that move

Good_Man / tunnelrat69

I have been on SSA direct-deposit to my Thai bank account for more than 4 years, and the deal with SSA is that the funds are to be automatically deposited into my acc't in Thai Baht.

(I am relocating to HCMC next April, hence why I am asking this question now).

Bear in mind Bangkok Bank (BBL) is the only bank in Thailand chosen by SSA to make such direct deposits. The underlying agreement is between SSA/Baltimore and Bangkok Bank.

I surmise that SSA has now set up such a direct agreement with a VN bank also--which, I don't know yet. They would also require--I think-- automatic transfer into local currency. Their exchange rate used for SSA deposits is precisely the same that appears on the BBL bank currency online rate charts of the day as "TT [telegraphic transfer] Buying Rates."

How does BBL get paid?  BBL/New York, the out-bound correspondent bank, charges me a flat USD 5 per transfer; and the local branch here in Thailand charges me the equivalent of USD 6-12 per transfer.

The SSA agreement with the local Thai bank does NOT allow transfer into a USD account; does not allow issuance of an ATM/debit card; and requires presentation of your US passport each and every time you withdraw money.

The SSA agreement with my Thai Bank may mimic what they have set up with your VN bank.


Phillip
"Lanna Prince"

I contacted Manila SS about deposit in VN bank and one of the agents mentioned that it can be troublesome, I was surprised because so many on this forum have been doing it for quite a while and I hadn't read of many problems here in the VN forum.

Lanna Prince don't be discouraged it took me a month (30) days to hear back from Manila via email. I found that once you get an agent to contact you directly you get their SS email address and life becomes somewhat easier. My wife got her deposits stopped because of mail issues and got an agent to assist and she has now had three SS issues resolved using her same email contact in Manila.

I have also found that calling Manila speeds things up, I use Skype and connect my VPN to Philippians first and connections are quite good.

I'm learning from the young digital nomads who are all using online banks. Deposits go to a virtual location and debits cards offer no or very, very low ATM' fees  around the globe with exchange rates competing with commercial banks. I'm liking this idea a lot because if political winds shift I can access funds where ever a plan lands. Nice if you need to get a foot in a quick way. Check out YouTube "online banks" nice ground work from the digital nomads...

Thanks for that, Thai_FX.

Will advise when I get a reply from MNL SSA.

Also note new holiday hours for phone support in Manila for the Xmas period.

Effective December 3, 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) can be reached by calling 63-2-301-2000 extension 9) from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., on Tuesday and Thursday, except on Philippines and U.S. holidays. SSA is open for in-office appointments and walk-ins from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on Philippine and U.S. holidays.

Well Lanna Prince

As I mentioned earlier I have just begun the process for benefits to start. I requesting them to start in February. I'll post something here when it's all said and done. If you have something by then then congratulations  :-))

As of January, 2019, the latest official information regarding U.S. Social Security Direct Deposit payments (IDD: International Direct Deposit) is listed on pages 3 thru 7 of the January American Citizen Services newsletter from the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi:

Click Here for Direct Download of .PDF file

Thai_FX and Good_Man:

Gents:  After two reminders, I finally got --not one, but two-- replies from the FBU unit in Manila concerning my queries about SS direct-deposit in Vietnam just in the past two weeks.

OceanBeach92107's post with the informative January Citizens Services newsletter from the US Embassy Hanoi was also good to see. Thanks for that, Ocean Beach.

As the OP on this sticky thread, I'd like to attempt to address some questions and conjectures with a few facts and common knowledge.

It's good that many people are sharing their individual experiences, and I don't mean to refute any particular poster.

It's just that some terms and concepts are being blurred in this discussion, so for the sake of the new reader, here is what I know to be so:

1. This Direct Deposit information is for those who plan to make Vietnam their formal RESIDENCE (temporary or permanent) in the eyes of the Social Security Administration (SSA) AND your bank in Vietnam.

Quoting the Embassy newsletter: "for U.S. citizens RESIDING outside of the United States" and "individuals RESIDING in Vietnam who require social security services or have questions about SSA benefits must contact the SSA Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) located in Manila, Philippines, rather than Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City".

If you are trying to maintain longterm TOURIST status with the SSA and the government of Vietnam, this info doesn't apply to you.

2. You can continue to get your Social Security payments sent to a U.S. Bank, even if you have established residency in Vietnam, as long as you continue to maintain a U.S. resident address that satisfies both your U.S. Bank AND the SSA. This is common knowledge here in the forum, attested to by many posters, including myself.

3. The bank in Vietnam must be a Vietnam Đồng account. Some people are talking here about Vietnam bank accounts in U.S. dollars. Those dollar accounts are NOT eligible for International Direct Deposit (IDD).

Quote: "the U.S. Treasury Department can only make payments in Vietnamese Dong. Therefore, please ensure that the payment account is in Vietnamese Dong and not U.S. Dollars"

4. Quote: "The U.S. Treasury Department can make payments to almost all banks
within the country. SSA does not have a list of host-country banks. In the rare event that a bank is not listed, SSA office will notify the client who will need to open an account at another bank
."

We know that Agribank works.

Some posters have mentioned that certain banks DO NOT accept SSA IDD payments, HOWEVER, it is not clear whether the posters are referring to Đồng accounts or Dollar accounts.

5. It "seems" universal here that, in order to have a VIETNAM bank account in Đồng, you must have either some type of official residency status OR an employment contract to go with your visa.

This point normally generates feedback from some people who basically say they just walked into a bank with their passport and opened an account.

Again, it is not clear that they are referring to qualified accounts in Đồng.

OceanBeach92107 :

2. You can continue to get your Social Security payments sent to a U.S. Bank, even if you have established residency in Vietnam, as long as you continue to maintain a U.S. resident address that satisfies both your U.S. Bank AND the SSA. This is common knowledge here in the forum, attested to by many posters, including myself.

We maintain a contact number and mailing address in CA (our daughter's), but not a resident address.  SSA knew that.  All the banks knew that.  CA DMV knew that.  We made sure everyone knew that we were to move overseas permanently and no longer residents of CA because we didn't want to file CA tax.  We did the same thing many years ago when we lived in Europe.

No problem with SSA or Office of Personnel Management or the banks or Franchise Tax Board (niece is a department head at State Board of Equalization and she confirmed that we're free of all obligations.)  We don't use bank transfer and no longer have a Vietnam bank account, so

Not one problem with SSA or anyone else.  They all send correspondence c/o daughter.  No annual form to submit.  We don't use bank transfer and we no longer have a Vietnam bank account.

Ciambella :
OceanBeach92107 :

2. You can continue to get your Social Security payments sent to a U.S. Bank, even if you have established residency in Vietnam, as long as you continue to maintain a U.S. resident address that satisfies both your U.S. Bank AND the SSA. This is common knowledge here in the forum, attested to by many posters, including myself.

We maintain a contact number and mailing address in CA (our daughter's), but not a resident address.  SSA knew that.  All the banks knew that.  CA DMV knew that.  We made sure everyone knew that we were to move overseas permanently and no longer residents of CA because we didn't want to file CA tax.  We did this many years ago when living in Europe as well.

No problem with SS or the banks or FTB (niece is a department head at State Board of Equalization and she confirmed that we're free.)

You mentioned somewhere (another thread or, perhaps, PM) that Schwab considers you to be on extended travels, or words to that effect.

I'm guessing there is a difference between telling your point of contact your plans and actually formalizing the notification.

For example, do you fill out and file the Social Security form SSA-7162 referred to in the following thread, using your Vietnam address?

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=822985

Also, has your Schwab residence address been formally changed to reflect that you are now residing here?

OceanBeach92107 :

You mentioned somewhere (another thread or, perhaps, PM) that Schwab considers you to be on extended travels, or words to that effect.

I'm guessing there is a difference between telling your point of contact your plans and actually formalizing the notification.

I believe Schwab did that to simplify their paperwork, but they knew, officially.  At least their legal department did.

OceanBeach92107 :

For example, do you fill out and file the Social Security form SSA-7162 referred to in the following thread, using your Vietnam address?

We filled out a form at the local SSA in CA just before we left the country.  Not sure of the form number.  Since then, they've sent everything c/o daughter, nothing to us.

OceanBeach92107 :

Also, has your Schwab residence address been formally changed to reflect that you are now residing here?

Yes.  Daughter (a lawyer), Schwab's lawyer, husband, and I all sat together at the same table, filled out our VN address on record (at the time, it's c/o niece in Saigon because we didn't have a permanent address then) as well as daughter's role as Manager of our account.  Everybody signed.  Schwab lawyer said it was done.  We left.

BTW, after we filled out our VN address, SSA folks told us to put in a change of address with DMV, so we did that on the same day.

Again, the change of address was to VN, not to c/o daughter.

Schwab has yet to send us anything, but BofA has sent us my card, twice, to our official address on their record, which is this one in VT.

After at least 15 years of planning my wife and I retired here back in 2007. We notified everybody of where we were going to retire {Vietnam} and what are address was going to be is is now. B of A our bank had no problem with an  overseas address, and as with the SSA, OPM, DFAS that we receive retirement DD to our B of A account has been no problems what so ever. We receive correspondence from them just like if we were back in the States with a little bit of lag time occasionally. We haven't been in the States since 1983 and that was just a quick stop by on our way from Turkey to get our HHG that were in storage in CA shipped to Japan. I can't think of doing it any other way. Being straight up with the folks on where your residing is the only way to go IMO, no questions, no problems later in life.

Rick

Ciambella :

BTW, after we filled out our VN address, SSA folks told us to put in a change of address with DMV, so we did that on the same day.

Again, the change of address was to VN, not to c/o daughter.

Schwab has yet to send us anything, but BofA has sent us my card, twice, to our official address on their record, which is this one in VT.

You and I have become friends, so I hope you and everyone else believes I mean this with all due respect:

Based on what you've said in the past and what you are writing now, I do not believe that your RESIDENCE address with Schwab or the SSA is in Vietnam.

First, Schwab ***BANK*** does not allow account holders to RESIDE outside of the U.S. They will close an account of someone who officially moves outside the U.S.

Unless you are talking about a Schwab International brokerage account, your story only makes sense if you are officially listing your relative's address as your U.S. residence address.

Isn't there, in fact, a power of attorney relationship established with your relative which enables you to officially use their address as your RESIDENCE for banking purposes?

You've said as much before, so I wonder why you would cloud the issue now by implying that they officially consider your residence to be Vietnam, and that they only consider your relative's address to be a mailing address?

Second, as other posters have made clear, the SSA has specific reporting rules when you declare yourself to be a RESIDENT of a foreign country.

I do not doubt for a second that you have been totally honest with the SSA or Schwab Bank. I'm sure you did tell them what you are doing and where you are.

But, I also believe it is your power of attorney designation which allows you to do exactly what I said: have a U.S. residence address which satisfies the requirements of your bank and the SSA.

Hello Ocean Beach:

You make a very important point.

When I wrote to the FBU unit in Manila in November/December, I specifically requested clarification whether Vietnamese banks required a certain visa status of US citizens to open a Direct-Deposit account.

The FBU did not answer my question until today, providing me a Form SSA-1199-OP 7  ("Direct Deposit Sign-up Form (Vietnam)." The form makes no mention of "visa status in Vietnam."

I understand the point about declaring to US authorities that I am a long-term resident abroad  I have been voting abroad since 1975, receiving my SSA pension in Thailand since I retired in 2011, and have always declared to the IRS my intent to reside abroad for the long term, without a planned return to the US.

With respect to my own Vietnamese visa, I intend to enter VN on a 3-mo. Tourist visa, and then apply for a 1-yr. multi-entry Tourist visa 30 days down the road.

Under those circumstances, do you believe that a Vietnamese bank is likely to deny my request to set up a direct-deposit savings account with them? Is this a matter of shopping around for a bank that will grant me the account? Or have I hit a brick wall?

Please give me your considered opinion, based on the knowledge you have and what you have heard from other Americans currently retired there.

Much appreciated.

Lanna Prince

[at] oceanbeach , For the most part ( Ciambella may be the exception as she may have her VNese citizenship) we are we are all on extended travel and in tourist status. Not many can ever become residents here. Those who work here are  another exception as they can have a TRC.

OceanBeach92107 :

You and I have become friends, so I hope you and everyone else believes I mean this with all due respect:

Definitely.  I don't get upset from being questioned or having my story scrutinized, especially when I'm the one who confused other people, albeit unintentionally.  Friendship doesn't mean agreeing with one another on everything.  I don't even agree with my husband half of the time.

OceanBeach92107 :

First, Schwab ***BANK*** does not allow account holders to RESIDE outside of the U.S. They will close an account of someone who officially moves outside the U.S.

I don't think they do that to American expats in all countries.  Only expats in New Zealand, Dominican Republic, UAE, South Africa, and South Korea were affected. 

Also, if I'm not mistaken, expats in other countries are allowed to maintain any accounts opened before the move, but not allowed to open new US accounts from overseas.

OceanBeach92107 :

Unless you are talking about a Schwab International brokerage account, your story only makes sense if you are officially listing your relative's address as your U.S. residence address.

Isn't there, in fact, a power of attorney relationship established with your relative which enables you to officially use their address as your RESIDENCE for banking purposes?

To the first:  no, I didn't.  To the second: I don't know the answer. 

We lived in our home when we opened the current account with Schwab 3 years ago.  The address on record at the time was our own residence. 

Five months before the move, we began the procedure to establish daughter as our account manager.  For two weeks, we went from one bank to another to have the procedure done ("Account Manager" instead of PoA was the title the banks suggested to us when we indicated that daughter should have unlimited access to and control of our account, and that fact should be in record with the banks so unless we cancel in person, our consent would not be required in the future.)   It's simple with some banks and not very simple with others.  Schwab belonged to the latter group.  We had to meet with their account people first, then their legal department a few days later.  That's when we informed them of our move overseas as the reason for giving total power to daughter. 

OceanBeach92107 :

You've said as much before, so I wonder why you would cloud the issue now by implying that they officially consider your residence to be Vietnam, and that they only consider your relative's address to be a mailing address?

There wasn't any clouding the issue.  I truly do not know how banks work; I only shared my experience, that's it.  My experience may not be the same as other people's, but what we did, or what we were allowed to do, is the explanation for the fact that we didn't have to go through what other people are going through. 

When we announced our move to the banks (BofA, Chase, Barclay, Citi, and Schwab), we had to fill out a bunch of documents.  In all the paperworks that required address, we provided the address in Saigon (c/o Niece) on the line that says "Address", and the one in CA (c/o Daughter) on the line that says "Mailing Address".  (Daughter was very clear about that.  Dotting every i, crossing every t, underlining and initialing every correction, then reprinting all edited versions, that's how she works.  She even asked for wet signatures on copies of the originals.) 

The address:  Ciambella c/o Niece, 123 Dead Female Poet, HCM City (the only time I willingly wrote HCMC instead of Saigon), no zip code, Vietnam.

The mailing address:  Ciambella c/o Daughter, 123 Master Planned St., Yuppie Town, CA 12345

OceanBeach92107 :

Second, as other posters have made clear, the SSA has specific reporting rules when you declare yourself to be a RESIDENT of a foreign country.

Again, as I've mentioned before, they did know where we were to live (not this particular address, but an address in VN).  They asked whether our banking and direct deposit would be the same, we said yes.  That's that.

The SSA agent was the one who told us to submit a change of address with DMV.  The DMV clerk had a problem reading what I wrote, she said, "You need to write the address in English.", I replied, "It has the same alphabets as English; I can't help it if the words are not the same as English words."  She was not happy with my answer and showed it.

OceanBeach92107 :

I do not doubt for a second that you have been totally honest with the SSA or Schwab Bank. I'm sure you did tell them what you are doing and where you are.

But, I also believe it is your power of attorney designation which allows you to do exactly what I said: have a U.S. residence address which satisfies the requirements of your bank and the SSA.

It's probably true.  As I said, I don't know how many things work, but as the things that happened to/for us have made our lives simple, I'm not looking a gift horse in the mouth.

[at]Vagabondone:  No, I lost my Vietnamese citizenship more than 35 years ago.  There was a 5-year period during which I could reclaim it but I didn't take it up.  I'm also not qualified for TRC either.  Only 5-year VEC.  Plan to apply for a new one in 2021, then another, and another.

All banking is under both husband's and my name.  SSA didn't ask re: citizenship, or maybe they did but I don't remember.

Lanna Prince :

Hello Ocean Beach:

You make a very important point.

When I wrote to the FBU unit in Manila in November/December, I specifically requested clarification whether Vietnamese banks required a certain visa status of US citizens to open a Direct-Deposit account.

The FBU did not answer my question until today, providing me a Form SSA-1199-OP 7  ("Direct Deposit Sign-up Form (Vietnam)." The form makes no mention of "visa status in Vietnam."

I understand the point about declaring to US authorities that I am a long-term resident abroad  I have been voting abroad since 1975, receiving my SSA pension in Thailand since I retired in 2011, and have always declared to the IRS my intent to reside abroad for the long term, without a planned return to the US.

With respect to my own Vietnamese visa, I intend to enter VN on a 3-mo. Tourist visa, and then apply for a 1-yr. multi-entry Tourist visa 30 days down the road.

Under those circumstances, do you believe that a Vietnamese bank is likely to deny my request to set up a direct-deposit savings account with them? Is this a matter of shopping around for a bank that will grant me the account? Or have I hit a brick wall?

Please give me your considered opinion, based on the knowledge you have and what you have heard from other Americans currently retired there.

Much appreciated.

Lanna Prince

My "considered opinion"?

I hear a LOT of laughter (at me) in the background...

:lol:

Here's what I personally know for sure:

I have a 1 year category DN Business Visa (U.S. citizen)

However, I don't have an employment contract to go with it.

So I've been turned down for a domestic bank account at every turn.

However, I was able to open up an "International" account at Asia Commercial Bank (ACB). It is a 16 digit account number prepaid Visa Card and can receive transfers using the Swift Code ASCBVNVX - however I don't know if SSA will accept that, and I'm happy using my stateside bank.

From everything I've pulled together so far, the banks seem to be more concerned with your employment and residency status.

Sorry I can't be more helpful than that, except to say it helped me to have a Vietnamese friend assist me in opening the account.

OB -- Next month when we're in CA, we'll have to be at Schwab in person for some business that we can't conduct online from here.  I'll definitely ask them about expats' account. 

I read on some forum (boglehead, I think) about the same issue as we're discussing here.  On the most recent posts (2018), someone said Schwab has known of his official location (he's an American expat) for 15 years but had no problem with it.  Another person said he was allowed to maintain his Schwab account, only that he cannot purchase new mutual funds using the account.

We have absolutely no investments with Schwab so that may or may not be the answer.

I won't ask SSA people though, the line is too long there and we'll only have one week in the States.

Ciambella :

OB -- Next month when we're in CA, we'll have to be at Schwab in person for some business that we can't conduct online from here.  I'll definitely ask them about expats' account. 

I read on some forum (boglehead, I think) about the same issue as we're discussing here.  On the most recent posts (2018), someone said Schwab has known of his official location (he's an American expat) for 15 years but had no problem with it.  Another person said he was allowed to maintain his Schwab account, only that he cannot purchase new mutual funds using the account.

We have absolutely no investments with Schwab so that may or may not be the answer.

I won't ask SSA people though, the line is too long there and we'll only have one week in the States.

Cool! :)

BTW, I've discovered that, with my Skype phone number, calling toll-free lines in the USA is free. Maybe it's free with a basic account too. IDK.

I've had a couple of long free conversations with Schwab since I've been here, and I'm thinking of calling SSA on an unrelated issue, using Skype.

Ocean beach is wrong again when it comes to his views on Schwab.

I have both a brokerage account and a bank account with them and they know I live here and have no problem with it.In fact about every time I call them we chat about living here. Being a tourist does not forbid you from doing a lot of things in the USA. I think Ocean Beach thinks he/we are residents here?

Vagabondone :

Ocean beach is wrong again when it comes to his views on Schwab.

Then be positive and productive and explain my error.

Vagabondone :

I have both a brokerage account and a bank account with them and they know I live here and have no problem with it.In fact about every time I call them we chat about living here. Being a tourist does not forbid you from doing a lot of things in the USA. I think Ocean Beach thinks he/we are residents here?

Without providing concrete specifics about your personal situation, including what country is listed on your account AND the type of account, your comment doesn't support your argument that I am wrong.

What you say to the person on the phone is different from what you list formally on your account.

It's also important to know if you are referring to an INTERNATIONAL account. The rules for that investor brokerage account (NOT a Schwab BANK account) are totally different.

Further, that type of account currently requires a minimum opening balance of $25,000.00 USD

You write a LOT of helpful stuff in the forum, but your sniping at me is counterproductive, especially in this sticky thread.

[at] OceanBeach, Well your quite welcome to tell me how my bank account works. But I can also disagree with you. So lets leave it at that. If it works for you your way I am fine with it.

Vagabondone :

[at]OceanBeach, Well your quite welcome to tell me how my bank account works. But I can also disagree with you.

You agreeing or disagreeing is irrelevant.

In the Schwab Bank Deposit Account Agreement, section 15, paragraph 13 covers the requirement to "Maintain United States Address".

Cheers!

Yes, a basic Skype account allows you to call toll-free numbers in the US.  It's been very helpful to me.

I found that SS in Manila will only address payment change requests via email if the following information is included;

-     Last Name:

-     First Name:

-     Middle Name:

-     Date of Birth:

-     Place of Birth:

-     Last four digits of Social Security Number (SSN):

-     Address:

Gents/Ladies:

I will bring in my monthly SSA pension from the USA direct-deposit. Need confirmation Vietcom & SACOM are best banks to deal with? Will not be employed so will be doing this with a 6-month or 12-month tourist or business visa. Residency card needed? Is that difficult to obtain?

Your best recommendation for best bank?

Thanks.

Vietnamese & Russian joint venture Bank .

OceanBeach92107


Thanks. I am at newbie at this and not quite sure how to maneuver about through these forums.

I do appreciate your knowledge on these issues!

I replied to Dee-bee (on the first site) with the updated Jan. 2019 list of countries with SSA direct-deposit services, and trust the info is seen and I can get replies on the second forum you mentioned.

I repeat the link below here.

https://www.ssa.gov/deposit/foreign.htm


LannaPrince

Lanna Prince :

OceanBeach92107


Thanks. I am at newbie at this and not quite sure how to maneuver about through these forums.

I do appreciate your knowledge on these issues!

I replied to Dee-bee (on the first site) with the updated Jan. 2019 list of countries with SSA direct-deposit services, and trust the info is seen and I can get replies on the second forum you mentioned.

I repeat the link below here.

https://www.ssa.gov/deposit/foreign.htm


LannaPrince

Thanks.

That's kind of old news for this thread. It was started when Vietnam was first added to the list by SSA.

I appreciate what's probably anxiety on your part about getting the best possible info to insure a smooth transition here.

The link to the thread where we are talking about current requirements for opening a bank account in Việt Nam is here:

https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=832927

The sticky was not actually added” when VN first got added to tge list”. Or perhaps I am not understanding the adding that is spoken of. We have always beenable to get our SS check. But before we hax to reporf to the embassy periodically so they could make sure we were still alive. Prior to the current practices VN did not report vital statistics e.g deaths to orger countries.
Apart from all that I would really consider have your DD go to a US bank

Vagabondone :

The sticky was not actually added” when VN first got added to tge list”. Or perhaps I am not understanding the adding that is spoken of. We have always beenable to get our SS check. But before we hax to reporf to the embassy periodically so they could make sure we were still alive. Prior to the current practices VN did not report vital statistics e.g deaths to orger countries.
Apart from all that I would really consider have your DD go to a US bank

When Vietnam was added to the list of countries where SSA direct deposit could be sent.

The OP of this thread...

OceanBeach92107 :

Vietnam has been ADDED by the Social Security Administration to the list of countries with a Direct Deposit agreement with the United States:

https://www.ssa.gov/international/countrylist6.htm

Plus, the most current information for U.S. Citizens as to where we can live AND receive payments is available through the Social Security Administration "Payments Abroad Screening Tool":

https://www.ssa.gov/international/payme … ideUS.html

I'm aware this site is full of old information which has only changed recently (perhaps after the arms deal) and I'll bet I get flamed for posting this, but current, updated info shows no restrictions or sanctions in place against Vietnam EXCEPT for non-U.S. Citizens who are entitled to benefits AND living outside the U.S.A.

V.A. Benefit payments are covered by these same international agreements, so are also eligible to be paid in Vietnam now.

Even with these updated links, I am not the final authority on this.

SSA and Treasury say that questions about both SSA benefits AND V.A. Benefits payable in Vietnam may be directed to this special unit which has trained personnel who can address inquiries regarding both programs:

American Embassy
1201 Roxas Boulevard
Ermita, Manila 0930
Philippines
Phone: 632-301-2000
Fax: 632-708-9714 or 632-708-9723
Email: FBU.Manila[at]ssa.gov

I hope this most recent info is helpful.

Cheers!

Gordy

First of two first-person posts by [at]BudMan1 which will point readers toward the info you really need to know:

Budman1 :
Budman1 :

Ms Gomez hasn't got back to me yet and I guess she has moved to another department. HOWEVER LOOK AT THIS:

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0202402408

Go for it guys, I am also strongly considering it.
Rick

As a follow-up on the POMS it appears that AGRIBANK has been designated as the F.I. here in Vietnam to receive the IDDs:


http://www.agribank.com.vn/english.aspx

o You have to currently have a Vietnam address indicated on file with the agency that your receiving the benefits from, not a Stateside address.

o The account with AGRIBANK has to be a VND account not a USD account.

o The form to request the IDD to start is a SF 1199-I with all the agency's (DFAS, OPM, SSA) except for VA  Comp or Disability payments, they need a VA Form 24-0296.

Rick

NOTE: We now know (through the U.S. Embassy) that there are other banks we can use...however...they refuse to give us the names. Apparently, the U.S. Government wants to avoid any appearance of endorsing a particular bank.

Second of two first-person posts by [at]BudMan1 which confirms his successful use of Agribank for U.S. Social Security direct deposit payments:

Budman1 :

If you look at post #13 you see there is now a procedure to have your SS deposited directly to your Vietnam back account if you have one with AGRIBank. After I posted the information my wife and I spoke with them at the branch in Can tho. The manger had to call back the main office to clarify the procedure. We have between us 6 monthly retirement deposits going to BofA in the States and we decided to try DD with the lowest amount one first to our AGRIBank account. Its been two months since we started it and haven't had a bit of problem. We are now considering changing the other 5 to DD here in Vietnam.
Rick

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