U.S. Veterans & SSA Benefits in Vietnam

I think the topic of payments to beneficiaries outside the US is very important to discuss since the information available on the Internet is still quite controversial. According to the International Direct Deposit list posted on Social Security Administration’s site, in February 2018 Vietnam entered into an agreement with the USA and was added to the list for SSA’s International Direct Deposit.

As far as I know, there’re no sanctions or any restrictions placed against Vietnam, except for the people without U.S. citizenship, who are entitled to benefits but don’t live in the United States.

Now U.S. veterans and beneficiaries are allowed to have their benefits check mailed or direct deposited while living in Vietnam. It had been forbidden until recently, but now vets can just get the check mailed to their Vietnamese home address with no trouble at all. The only countries slapped with sanctions are Cuba and North Korea. As long as you stay there, your benefits get suspended and accrued until you leave.

Also, I have been informed that AGRIBANK has been recognized as a Vietnamese Financial Institute and is able to receive the IDDs (International Direct Deposits). You can look for more information on the bank’s official site agrbank.com. There’re a few points that you should take into consideration:
• Your bank account has to be in VND currency, not USD
• You need your Vietnamese address to be indicated on the file, not a U.S. address
• Find the form you need to fill at the Program Operations Manual System page on the SSA site.

I hope this information will be useful for US beneficiaries in Vietnam.
02.10.2018
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02.10.2018
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Greeting to all the U.S. expats in Vietnam!
I’m wondering if this information is really valid and up-to-date… Also, I have a question: do I have to contact U.S. consulate or embassy in order to receive my SSA benefits?
Thank you in advance for your reply
02.10.2018
0
Well, as far as I’m informed, all the above information is valid, but if you’re still hesitating, you can check the ssa.gov site for more information on the subject.

As for your question, I believe that this requirement was a condition when Vietnam was in the “Restricted Countries” list. It is true that you had to contact the consulate in order to receive your benefits via mail. Now, with procedure changes having been made, reporting to the embassy is no longer a must.
02.10.2018
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My wife and I can also approve the information provided in this post. When we learned about the new possibility a few months ago, we went right to the AGRIBANK branch and asked their manager for more details. He even called the main office to approve the information. Since we do have an Agribank bank account, we decided to try our luck and DD with the lowest amount possible. It worked, and since then we haven’t had a single problem, so you can go ahead and follow suit…
02.10.2018
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Hello, community! Thank you for the useful information, but I still need clarification. The thing is, when withdrawing pension in Vietnam, both the American and the Vietnamese banks charge fees: 5$ and 1$ accordingly. Which banks should we work with to avoid paying those fees?
02.10.2018
0
Hey, Vicki!
You should choose a U.S. bank that provides free ATM withdrawals and foreign transactions, plus some banks rebate fees charged by other banks. Such banks are, for example, Schwab, Fidelity or Citibank. In fact, it’s not always the bank itself charging transaction fees, but VISA or MC, whatever one you use.

I would be grateful for keeping this topic up-to-date, so if you have any additional information, please comment here. Thank you!
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