FBU London SSA delay

Old Mar 15th 2023, 8:57 pm
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Default FBU London SSA delay

Hello to everyone,

Just wondering if anyone else has experienced a long delay in receiving their Spousal Retirement Benefit from the SSA after making a claim through the FBU at the London Embassy? I had my phone interview with the FBU London prior to Thanksgiving last November and I requested my retirement benefit to begin January 1st. I was informed that it would be paid (in arrears), in early February. Since I applied well ahead of time I didn’t expect any delays….

But,…....To date I haven’t received ANY communication from them, other than a request for my marriage certificate which I duly sent them and it was returned to me very promptly from London. No communication from the US SSA. I emailed the FBU an about a month ago, and they just said to wait!
How long,…I don’t know?

I’d be grateful to know if it is common for such a delay and if one normally receives confirmation of one’s claim, of which I have never had. Neither have I been told the amount I’m expected to receive. I find this most odd! I’m beginning to wonder if my claim has just gone into a cyber black hole between London and Baltimore! When my husband retired (whilst we were living in the US), it never took anywhere like this long.

Thanks for reading and to hear of anyone else’s experience with the FBU, London
TiaMaria57
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Old Mar 15th 2023, 9:36 pm
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

On a couple of other forums people have complained about long delays when communicating with the FBU in their particular country.
Many public agencies, including foreign agencies in the UK have many workers still working from home.
(The UK civil service was only 50% manned in offices a few weeks ago)
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Old Mar 15th 2023, 11:00 pm
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Originally Posted by SanDiegogirl
On a couple of other forums people have complained about long delays when communicating with the FBU in their particular country.
Many public agencies, including foreign agencies in the UK have many workers still working from home.
(The UK civil service was only 50% manned in offices a few weeks ago)
Thanks SanDiagogirl,
Glad to hear I’m not the only one then! It puts my mind at rest.
However, the FBU did interview me last November by phone and promptly returned my marriage certificate which I sent in December so it would seem that the hold up is another at the Baltimore end.
Thanks and best wishes, TM57
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Old Mar 16th 2023, 1:02 am
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Hope this isn't a silly question - but have you tried phoning them?
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Old Mar 16th 2023, 11:07 pm
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

My wife applied through the FBU in March 2021 to begin benefits on April 1st. After interviews with FBU agents the application went into the US SSA. When logging into her SS account she could see that it was at stage 2, waiting for final approval. After a few months she phoned the US SSA and they told her simply that it was in progress. Eventually her money arrived end of November/early December and the first payment was large, back-dated to April 1st. Since then it has arrived like clockwork every month into our UK bank account.
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Old Mar 17th 2023, 12:11 am
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Hi SanDiagogirl,
It’s not a silly question at all. But getting through on the phone takes ages. Then after waiting so long I just got cut off! Decided to email them instead so now waiting for a reply.
Regards, TM57
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Old Mar 17th 2023, 12:38 am
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Originally Posted by durham_lad
My wife applied through the FBU in March 2021 to begin benefits on April 1st. After interviews with FBU agents the application went into the US SSA. When logging into her SS account she could see that it was at stage 2, waiting for final approval. After a few months she phoned the US SSA and they told her simply that it was in progress. Eventually her money arrived end of November/early December and the first payment was large, back-dated to April 1st. Since then it has arrived like clockwork every month into our UK bank account.
Hi Durham Lad,
Thanks for your information. It looks like I won’t see anything this side of Christmas if your wife’s experience is anything to go by! That length of time is ridiculous. I’m fortunate that I can manage without it, but many people will need their money now, particularly during a winter like we’ve just had with high inflation and energy prices! It’s a poor state of affairs when a government organization such as the SSA can’t gets its act together for its citizens.

When I emailed the FBU about a year ago asking how to go about claiming retirement benefits, the FBU emailed me back and said “Just let us know when you are ready to collect your retirement benefits and contact us then”. (No mention of a delay). So of course I did when the time came, but why didn’t they inform me there was a heck of a hold up like this? Surely they could inform those who claim, even on the interview, so claimants aren’t concerned. Or put it out on their website as information.

Your wife is very fortunate that she has an SSA account she can log into. I am unable to create one being in the UK. I tried to create one before I left the US but due to being under retirement age I was unable to. My husband has one because been considerably older than me he created one whilst in the US.

Thanks for your very helpful knowledge…..Looks like I will have to be very, very patient.

Take care and kind regards,
TM57
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Old Mar 17th 2023, 3:40 pm
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Originally Posted by TiaMaria57
Hi Durham Lad,
Thanks for your information. It looks like I won’t see anything this side of Christmas if your wife’s experience is anything to go by! That length of time is ridiculous. I’m fortunate that I can manage without it, but many people will need their money now, particularly during a winter like we’ve just had with high inflation and energy prices! It’s a poor state of affairs when a government organization such as the SSA can’t gets its act together for its citizens.

When I emailed the FBU about a year ago asking how to go about claiming retirement benefits, the FBU emailed me back and said “Just let us know when you are ready to collect your retirement benefits and contact us then”. (No mention of a delay). So of course I did when the time came, but why didn’t they inform me there was a heck of a hold up like this? Surely they could inform those who claim, even on the interview, so claimants aren’t concerned. Or put it out on their website as information.

Your wife is very fortunate that she has an SSA account she can log into. I am unable to create one being in the UK. I tried to create one before I left the US but due to being under retirement age I was unable to. My husband has one because been considerably older than me he created one whilst in the US.

Thanks for your very helpful knowledge…..Looks like I will have to be very, very patient.

Take care and kind regards,
TM57
Patience, grasshopper, patience

We had online SS accounts many years before we retired, it was how we checked that their records matched our employment record, and we used to download statements each year with our forecast benefits at age 62, FRA, and age 70. They also had a tool to calculate your future benefits if you decided to quit work early. (Their standard forecast assumes you continue working at the same income level until retirement age)
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Old Mar 17th 2023, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Originally Posted by durham_lad
Patience, grasshopper, patience

We had online SS accounts many years before we retired, it was how we checked that their records matched our employment record, and we used to download statements each year with our forecast benefits at age 62, FRA, and age 70. They also had a tool to calculate your future benefits if you decided to quit work early. (Their standard forecast assumes you continue working at the same income level until retirement age)
I heard about been able to do that but my situation is a little different. The reason I believe is that I have been a homemaker all my life, apart from volunteering at schools, etc.

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Old Mar 17th 2023, 8:38 pm
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Default Re: FBU London SSA delay

Originally Posted by TiaMaria57
I heard about been able to do that but my situation is a little different. The reason I believe is that I have been a homemaker all my life, apart from volunteering at schools, etc.
That may have been the issue, both my wife and I paid into SS for over 10 years.
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