From the Federal Benefits Unit – Did You Know?

London’s Federal Benefits Unit (FBU) administers the Social Security Administration (SSA) , Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Railroad Retirement Board (RRB), Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Medicare and the Department of Labor (DOL) programs in the United Kingdom, Belgium, Luxembourg and 16 African countries: Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The FBU has a staff of 14, all US-trained at the headquarters of the Social Security Administration (SSA), in Baltimore, Maryland.

The FBU processes approximately 3,000 new claims (including 400 disability claims) per year. It processes approximately 6,500 applications for new and replacement Social Security number cards per year. More than 40,000 beneficiaries are served by the London FBU..

The office handles approximately 50 in-person interviews, 125 telephone calls and about 300 emails per week. It has two dedicated telephone lines that are open to the public each weekday from 8:30 am – 1:00 p.m.

Beneficiaries in the United Kingdom receive approximately $20 million per month in benefits, with nearly 99% of those benefits being paid by electronic funds transfer – direct deposit.

Did you also know that worldwide, there are some 54 million Social Security beneficiaries taking in some $58 billion a year in benefits? The vast majority, about 44 million are retired workers, their dependents and survivors and about 10 million, who receive disability benefits.

There are about 158 million workers paying Social Security taxes, which means 94% of all workers are covered or eligible for coverage under Social Security.

For general information on the Social Security program, please visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov. For specific questions about your own coverage or benefit issues, please contact London’s Federal Benefits Unit at FBU.London@ssa.gov