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:

or our “What You Can Do Online" page at:

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

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: [] Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 4:55 PM To: ^OIO Net Post Subject:\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.

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Thanx for the heads up

I'm going thru the same process, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm on my annual visit to the relatives and went into the semi-local SS office( next state over but not too far). I processed the change of mailing address and he said I would receive a snail mail confirmation. We'll see. He did not ask for a physical address, so let's see if that turns out to be a problem.

Will all the blessings of the internet, one still wonders if you are talking to a person (of unknown talent, etc.) or a machine that cranks out simulated answers to perceived questions. At least with a live body you can call a time out and tell them they are not answering the right question.

I have some fears in changing over my mailing addresses because I have found Correos to be unreliable, but we will see how it works.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

It worked

My SS came early and then I received a snail mail confirmation of the address change which also stated that foreign residnets are paid on the 3rd of the month.

I`d say snail mail is probably the best way if you are not in the US. I have also started simplifying my street address for cases where it makes absolutely no sense. The shortened version fits better on websites that want a street address of a place they will never go, not a detailed history of the geography of some obscure location. Also, I have found several websites that will accept foreign addresses, but choke when you don`t put in a zip code. Often a go around of 00000 or xxxxx works.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

congrats..but u changed it in the states..

i went to the embassy down here..the lady that takes care of s.s. seems to know what she is doing..she did a address change for me to nica box in miami..she told me they probably wont accept it..because..i live down thing im going to a internet address in the states

i have to go to the embassy in a month..

im going to try to change it there,,,to nicabox in miamai,,it now comes to my p.o. box here..but im getting rid of it..dont like the maul service here

good luck

I applied there. A month and a half later I had not heard anything and was in the US so I called SS. They said they had no record of my application, go ahead and apply online. I did and 3 weeks later I had a check deposited in my account. that's why I have a US address and am now trying to change it.

`Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

Technically ...

There are actually three addresses:

  • Your "correspondence" address. That's where they send paper to you.
  • Your residence" address. The requirement is that this is the actual physical address where you reside.
  • Your "payment" address. This could be an address for you but, it generally it would be bank info so they can do an ACH deposit.