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Federal Benefits

Important Announcements

Information on 2016 COLA

Social Security announces there will be no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) in 2016.

The Social Security Act provides for an automatic increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits if there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W).  The Bureau of Labor Statistics has determined that there is no increase in the CPI-W. Under existing law, there can be no COLA in 2016.

Other adjustments that would normally take effect based on changes in the national average wage index also will not take effect in January 2016. Information about Medicare changes for 2016, when available, will be found at;You can also find details about the latest COLA at

Direct Deposit now available in Romania

Direct Deposit is now available to people who receive U.S. Federal Pension (SSA, VA, OPM) in Romania.  

Your payment will be direct deposited in your bank account usually within one business day of the date due!  You do not have to visit your bank to deposit your check; you do not have to worry about stolen checks, mail delays, or being away from home when the check is delivered.

Option 1: Any U.S. Bank account ; if you choose this option, please email, fax or mail us your name, Social Security Number, your address, your telephone number, your Routing Transit Number, your bank account and the type of the account (Checking or Savings). If you already have your pension electronically deposited in dollars in a bank in the U.S.A. you may continue this process, or you may switch to a bank account in Romania in local currency, lei (see option 2).  

Option 2: International Direct Deposit in your bank account in Romania, in local currency (Lei). To enroll, please email, fax or mail us your name, Social Security Number, your address, your telephone number, the IBAN (bank account number) of your account in lei and the SWIFT code of your bank in Romania. For additional information, you may contact the American Citizens Services unit (Tel: 021-270-6000, Monday through Friday between 1:00 - 4:30 p.m., Fax: 021-200-3578, E-mail:   

If you have other changes to report to the Social Security Administration, remember to notify the American Citizens Services. Be sure to include your Social Security Number and your full name and contact information when you report any change.

For more information, please also visit:

Social Security Administration

You can apply for Social Security retirement, spouse, disability, or Medicare on the internet at It is secure, fast and easy. Once you submit the application online, print the receipt, and wait. We will contact you in about 6-8 weeks to review your claim and to request the necessary supporting documents.

The online hours of operation are:

Weekdays 5 AM - 1 AM Eastern Time (ET)

Saturday 5 AM - 11 PM ET

Sunday 8 AM - 11:30 PM ET

Holidays 5 AM - 1 AM ET

The American Citizen Services unit of the Embassy receives requests for assistance with changes or correction of the beneficiary's address, non-receipt of payments and termination of payments due to death of the beneficiary. When submitting an inquiry by fax or email, please include the last four digits of your Social Security Number, your address, telephone number and an email address where we can reach you. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are moving from the United States to an Overseas location i.e. Romania, you must also sign and submit form SSA-21.

For instructions on how to replace, correct, or change your name on your Social Security Card, see the Social Security Administration (SSA) website, This site also has a downloadable application form, the (SS-5-SF) and tells you what kind of identification you need to present along with your application form.

Please visit SSA's website information on "Service Around the World" at, for information on what you can do online when you have an APO/FPO or Foreign mailing address.

Department of Veteran Affairs
The Department of Veteran Affairs website offers the Federal Benefits Manual for Veterans and Dependents (2008), details of benefits available, and downloadable benefits forms.

Office of Personnel Management
The Office of Personnel Management website offers information for federal employee benefits such as retirement programs, thrift plans, and health insurance.

Department of Labor
The Department of Labor website offers information on benefits programs such as the Family and Medical Leave Act and workers' compensation programs, (Black Lung, FECA, Longshore).

Railroad Retirement Board
The Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) administers comprehensive retirement-survivor and unemployment-sickness benefit programs for the nation's railroad workers and their families. The RRB also administers certain Social Security benefit payments and railroad workers' Medicare coverage.

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