How to change your address with SSA
Executive Summary: Send them a letter via snail mail.
I wanted to change my address with the Social Security Administration. Simple enough, particularly in the world of web sites. I thought.
After doing a lot of searching on the SSA web site, it seemed that while anyone in the US could easily make an address change on-line, it appeared that if you were outside the US you could not. That made no sense, of course. Note that I was not trying to change where the payments were sent -- just my "residence address". They have requirements that this must be the physical address where you live, not just your mailing address. So, I used a form for questions on the site to ask how to do it.
A few days later, on March 1, here is what I got back:
This is an automated acknowledgement of receipt of your inquiry.
Inquiries are processed in the order in which they are received and we are diligently working to respond to an unprecedented number of questions.
Please understand that if your inquiry is:
-- time sensitive OR
-- requires access to your personal information using your Social Security number,
YOU MUST contact our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, or your local Social Security office for assistance. People who are hearing-impaired may call our “TTY” number, 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available between 7 A.M. and 7 P.M. on business days.
You can obtain the location and other information about your local Social Security office by calling our toll-free telephone number or by accessing the following Internet address:
While awaiting a response to your inquiry, have you checked our "Find an Answer to Your Question" page at: http://ssa-custhelp.ssa.gov
or our “What You Can Do Online" page at: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/onlineservices/
Reply to this message only if you find the information you need so we can cancel your original inquiry. If you do not find what you need to know at our suggested resources, do not reply.
I did nothing and waited. Just 25 days later, I got the following message:
Thank you for contacting the Social Security Administration.
We apologize for the delay in answering your inquiry. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.
Your inquiry has been forwarded to the Office of International Operations for response. A representative there will contact you as soon as possible.
You may be interested to know that our Internet Web site contains information on how to obtain Social Security services when you are living outside the United States. We suggest that you connect to the following Internet address:
Note that these messages did not contain any reference to the initial message (like virtually every commercial email request/response system would do). But, this time it sounds like they are finally going to send my message to where it should have been sent about a month before.
Then, finally, the official answer. I have included the from address just because I found it so amusing. Note that this is the first message where my inquiry was included in the response.
^OIO Net Post OIO.Net.Post@ssa.gov
The online services do not work outside of the U.S. You can contact the American Embassy in the country that you are living in or you can write to us- Social Security Administration, Po Box 17769, Baltimore MD 21235-7769.
From: SSA.Comments@SSA.gov [mailto:SSA.Comments@SSA.gov] Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:55 PM To: ^OIO Net Post Subject: email@example.com\Forward\5468067\Brim WBDOC 11033\
-----------Original Message -----------------
I would like to change my mailing address. As I do not live in the US I cannot sign up for an on-line account. So, now what?
End of explanation.