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Social Security & Veteran's Affairs FAQs

I’m 62, retired and want to apply for my Social Security retirement benefits. How can I do this?

You may contact the American Citizen Services section at the Consulate General to request the initial claims questionnaire.

Upon completion, the questionnaire and supporting documents will be forwarded to the Social Security Regional Office at the American Embassy, Manila at 0011-632-522-1514. For more information, consult the Social Security Online website.

How do I change my name on my Social Security card?

You may change your name on your Social Security card by completing application form SS-5 (from the Social Security Online website). Submit it with your original name change documents, e.g. marriage certificate or current passport showing the old and new names, to the Consulate General.

I need to change my address on my Social Security record. What form do I need?

No form is required. Just send in your written request to the American Citizen Service section at the Consulate General with your full name, correct address and your Social Security number. Alternatively, you may contact Social Security in the U.S. on 0011-1800-772-1213 and report your change of address.

How can I have my Social Security payments paid to my U.S. bank?

You may have your payments paid by direct deposit to your U.S. bank by completing form SF1199a (from the Social Security Online website). A New Zealand direct deposit form is available from the Consulate General in Auckland.

I need proof of what I receive from Social Security. What form can I use?

You may request a statement of benefits from the Regional Social Security Office at the Embassy in Manila by telephone: 0011-632-522-4716 or by email:

You will need to provide your Social Security number and address.

I would like to apply for Veteran Affairs benefits. How can I do this?

You may complete the VA form 21-526 which may be downloaded, along with instructions, from the Veteran Affairs website.

Where can I get an estimate of benefits that I (and my family) may be eligible for now and in the future?

You may request a Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement (PEBES) by completing form SSA-7004 (from the Social Security Online website). 

I would like to change my address for receipt of my monthly Veterans benefits. What form should I complete?

Contact the Regional Social Security Office at the U.S. Embassy in Manila by telephone: 0011-632-522-4716 or by email:

Upon my death, will my spouse be paid a benefit?

Your surviving spouse may be entitled to receive a payment. Further information concerning surviving spouse entitlement may be obtained from the Department of Veterans Affairs website for Veteran benefits, or the Social Security Online website for Social Security benefits.

If you still have Federal Benefits questions, please contact the regional office of the Social Security Administration by email:  or by telephone: 0011 632 522 4716.

For Veterans Administration (VA) questions, please contact the VA by email: VAVBAPIT/RO/ or by telephone: 0011 1 412 395 6272. Alternatively, you may contact the American Citizen Services section at the Consulate General in Auckland.

For further information please see the Social Security Administration webpage.

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  • DoS Logo
    March 07, 2014 - Visa Interview Week dates announced
    The United States Embassy in Apia is pleased to announce that it will hold its next Visa Interview Week from March 31st – April 4th, 2014. [click for further details]
  • Dept. State
    January 7, 2014 - U.S. Ambassador says farewell to New Zealand and Samoa.

    I knew when I arrived in Wellington in 2009 that the time would come to depart. What I didn’t know was that my term would fly by so fast. I have been here for more than four years, which is longer than usual, but it really only seems like yesterday that I walked down the street from Camperdown to Vogel House to present my credentials to the Governor-General. [read the blog post

  • DoS Seal
    October 1, 2013 - Operation in the absence of appropriations
    Even in the absence of a current fiscal year
    budget, the American Embassy in Apia is continuing visa services and other operations.
  • State Dept.
    August 15, 2013 - J. William Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Announcement
    Public Notice
    Please be advised that the U.S. Embassy will be closed on Thursday 13th and Friday 14th December due to Tropical Cyclone Evan. All visa interviews and non-emergency American citizen services for these dates have been cancelled until further notice.
    u.s. citizens and nationals are advised to remain informed about conditions from tropical cyclone evan by monitoring local media reports.  for updates from u.s. embassy Apia, please see our website at 
    E logo atu ma le faaaloalo lava o le a tapunia le ofisa o amerika (U.S. Embassy) i le aso tofi 13 ma le aso faraile 14 tesema ona o le afa o evan. o le a le faataunuuina faatalanoaga mo visa seia logo atu lo outou mamalu i se taimi o i luma.   
    Mo tagatanuu o amerika: 
    Ia utagia fautuaga uma e faasalalau atu i alaleo eseese, nusipepa, ma le tv.  mo nisi faamatalaga siaki ane le upega tafailagi  
    The United States Embassy in Apia announces that resident nationals of Samoa are now eligible to apply for the J. William Fulbright Foreign Student Scholarship Program.  The Fulbright Foreign Student Program brings citizens of other countries to the United States for study at U.S. universities or other appropriate institutions and offers program participants insight into U.S. society and values.  Successful candidates receive up to three years of graduate-level studies at some of the finest higher learning institutions in the United States.  The Embassy is now accepting applications for study commencing in 2014. [Application and more details]