Dear Mr L,
This is the annual questionnaire (SSA-7162 or SSA-7161).
Please note that this form is initially released on June 1 of each year. It is mailed to the address currently on your benefit file. If you have changed your address but have not reported such a change to Social Security, the form will not be sent to the new address until your benefit record has been updated.
There is an annotation at the top of this form that reads: “If you do not complete and return this form within 60 days, benefits will be suspended.” Please do NOT worry as the timeline for such a suspension is the first week of February of the following year. This does not necessarily mean that the benefit will be suspended on the 61st day. Just take it as an instruction to submit the completed form immediately and simply by regular mail. Also, the form was originally designed for people residing in the United States. The agency knows that if it is a foreign address, it may take some time before it is received and then sent back.
If the form issued on June 1 is not received by the SSA Wilkes Barre office, a second form will be issued each October 1 of the same year. This is to provide another chance before suspending a benefit case. If the first form was returned and received before October 1, you will probably no longer receive this second form. If you do, simply complete it again and return it to the SSA Wilkes Barre office by regular mail.
The crucial information or date to remember is the first week of February. If you have not received your allowance during the first week of February, the most frequent reason for such a suspension is the non-return of the annual questionnaire. Therefore, it is suggested that before sending the completed original SSA-7162 or SSA-7161, please scan and save a copy. In the event that your benefit file is suspended during the first week of February, you may email us the copy of the form you submitted and we may use such scanned copy as a workaround to immediately reinstate a suspended benefit file. IMPORTANT: Do NOT send us the copy if your benefit is not suspended, as there is normally nothing we can do about it. SSA’s office in Manila does not have a barcode scanner.
I hope this gives you clearer information on this specific form. Thanks a lot.
Note: To avoid suspension of benefits in February, the appropriate time/month to report that you or your spouse did not receive the form is in November of each year. Send a message expressing the non-receipt of the annual questionnaire by November to [email protected].