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Hundreds of US expats in Costa Rica still at risk of losing Social Security benefits

December 16, 2013

Some 300 U.S. citizens living in Costa Rica could see an interruption in their Social Security benefits, according to the U.S. Embassy in San José. 

Several hundred Social Security recipients have yet to return a questionnaire sent by the embassy in July and October to beneficiaries whose Social Security numbers end in 50-99, and those who receive benefits on behalf of a minor or disabled person.

The embassy says that it could take more than 45 days to resume payments after benefits have been interrupted.

Embassy Information Officer Eric Turner said in an email that the measure is an anti-fraud precaution that saved U.S. taxpayers some $200,000 in 2013 after the Social Security Administration suspended payments to 25 beneficiaries who failed to respond to the survey last year.

Beneficiaries with questions can contact the Federal Benefits Section at the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica (phone number 2519-2000) or send questions or comments to SJRegion@ssa.gov listing a full name, last four digits of a Social Security number on which benefits are received, and two telephone numbers. 

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