TN 25 (02-08)
GN 02605.240 Direct Deposit Used by a Beneficiary Abroad – COA
A. Use of direct deposit – general
Direct deposit is the preferred manner of payment to all Title II beneficiaries. It is a cost effective and secure manner to disburse Social Security payments to beneficiaries both within and outside the United States.
Beneficiaries outside the United States may receive their benefits via a form of electronic funds transfer (EFT) when they use:
Direct deposit to a Financial Institution (FI) within the U.S.;
Direct deposit in any International Direct Deposit (IDD) country; or
Payment through correspondent banking.
B. International direct deposit
IDD service is a joint effort between SSA and its fiscal agent, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY). The process also involves the assistance of a processor bank. This may be either the central bank of the foreign country (e.g., the Bank of England) or a large commercial bank.
C. Foreign power-of-attorney
A beneficiary, who resides in a non-IDD country and who does not have access to a U.S. FI or IDD country bank account, may grant a power-of-attorney to a foreign FI so that checks can be mailed to that FI.
D. Waiver of Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT)
Effective May 1, 2011, new applicants for Social Security and Supplemental Security Income benefits will be required to receive their payments electronically, by either Direct Deposit or the Direct Express debit card. Current check receivers will have until March 1, 2013 to switch to electronic payment. Treasury has determined that international payments are automatically excluded from the electronic payment requirement. While we prefer to pay beneficiaries in foreign countries electronically, foreign beneficiaries do not have to request waiver if they wish to receive paper check. Please see GN 02402.001, Direct Deposit Policy, for more information regarding the Department of the Treasury’s All Electronic Payment Initiative.
E. Related references
Background and General Policy – Direct Deposit Outside the U.S. (GN 02402.201)
Direct Deposit Information for All Types of Interviews (GN 02402.005)
Direct Deposit Policy (GN 02402.001)
Domestic FIs and Beneficiaries Outside the U.S. (GN 02402.110)
Power of Attorney – Foreign Financial Institutions (GN 02402.115)
Correspondent Banking (GN 02402.120)