History of SSA's International Operations

In addition to its network of about 1,300 local offices in the United States, SSA also operates an extensive international program to service the needs of Social Security beneficiaries living abroad. An SSA manager is temporarily reassigned to the State Department to serve as a Federal Benefits Officer (FBO) to oversee the payment of all U.S. government benefits over a wide geographical area. The FBO typically serves as an office manager in an American embassy and his/her staff is composed of foreign nationals who operate Social Security and other federal benefit programs.

This 1998 document is a summary history of the SSA's Division of International Operations, which since 1961 has been the organization that has Central Office management responsibility for our international program.

Historical Profile - Division of International Operations
March 1998

(note: file in Adobe PDF format)