International Direct Deposit is the mechanism by which your monthly benefit payment will be electronically transferred from the U.S. Federal Government to your bank account in Panama. This system is faster and more convenient than receiving a paper check. You will not depend on the postal service or any other intermediary to receive your payments.
Who is Eligible to Enroll in the International Direct Deposit Program?
At this time, all Office of Personnel Management, Social Security Administration and Veterans Affairs beneficiaries residing in Panama are eligible to enroll in the International Direct Deposit Program
How Can I Enroll in the International Direct Deposit Program?
If you receive benefits from the Office of Personnel Management or from the Veterans Affairs, you may send an e-mail to Panama-FBU@state.gov and we will provide you with the IDD form to enroll in the International Direct Deposit Program. Once the form has been fully completed by you and the bank you should schedule an appointment with the Federal Benefits Unit by sending an e-mail to Panama-FBU@State.Gov to deliver the form to us.
If you receive benefits from the Social Security Administration please contact the designated Social Security Regional Office assigned to Panama which is located in San Jose, Costa Rica at https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/fbu-inquiry-form/ to request an enrollment form.
When Will I Receive my Payment if I Enroll in International Direct Deposit?
For Office of Personnel Management and Veterans Affairs recipients, once the form has been delivered to us, it could take 30 to 90 days for the enrollment to become effective.
For the Office of Personnel Management recipients, the electronic transfer should be effective no later than the second business day of each month.
For the Veterans Affairs recipients, the electronic transfer should be effective no later than the first business day of the month.
For Social Security please contact the designated Social Security Regional Office assigned to Panama, located in San Jose, Costa Rica at https://cr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/social-security/fbu-inquiry-form/ for delivery instructions and request information on when your enrollment will become effective. The SSA normally responds to e-mail inquiries within 15-working days. Unfortunately, there is no number for calls. Their fax number is 00506-2291-1032
Direct Deposit to a U.S. Bank
For U.S. direct deposit, the payee must complete Sections 1 and 2 of Standard Form 1199A Direct Deposit Sign-up Form. The payee sends the form to the financial institution, which verifies the information and completes Section 3. The financial institution then returns the completed form to the government agency indicated in Section 2.
This is available in case you don’t have a bank or credit union account. To enroll in Direct Express you should visit the following link https://www.usdirectexpress.com/.